China Arrests Eight Underground Christians

Jun 20, 2003 03:43 PM EDT

Police in southwestern China have arrested eight members of an underground Christian Church as a result of spreading "feudalistic superstition", according to the local religious administration said on 12.

The arrested members are all of an unregistered church in Yunnan province's Funing County, the Reuters reported. They could be sent to labor camps.

The county's religious official said that they did unauthorized mission works a spread superstitious words to th villagers and forced poor villagers to donate.

China has declared its law protects all kinds of religious freedom but the communist government doesn't allow any worship services held outside fo the gevernment's state-supported churches.

The rigts group said the church members had asked for permission to hold prayer services but the police appeared at four places where services were being held on June 6. The police appeared under the pretences of registering the group and detained 12 of their members.

The local officials said the rest 4 members could get lighter punishment that labor camp.

By Young Sun Lee
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