Two Chinese Underground Church Leaders Arrested

( [email protected] ) Oct 28, 2003 09:59 AM EST

BEIJING – Two underground church leaders in Southern China were arrested and charged for subverting state power, Sept. 26. Formal notices of detainment were sent on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

The activist Xiao Biaguing, 44, was taken into custody in the Henan province last month possibly because of his writing of articles dealing with Christian Charters - the text of principles guide underground church activities in China.

Xio’s wife, Gou Qinghui, received the notification letter from police, but was not informed of the reason for the detention.

Zhang Yinana, 48, who helped scribe the text, was arrested along with Xiao.

According to the Hong Kong based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, their relatives had not been allowed to visit them, nor were they permitted to hire lawyers.

Xiao was also involved with the legal defense for Gong Shengliang, who founded the South China Church in the early 1990s. The South China Church at one time claimed to have 50,000 followers in central China

Shengliang is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted last October of rape and assault; Gong denies the charges.