Pastor Lian Changnian, Brother Lian Xuliang, and Sister Fu Juan remain under detention after two months. Church members have been beaten.
by Tao Niu
A new appeal has been circulated on October 17, 2022, by the spouses of the detained leaders of the Church of Abundance (Fengsheng) of Xi’an city, Shaanxi province.
The wives of Pastor Lian Changnian and Brother Lian Xuliang, and the husband of Sister Fu Juan report that their spouses are detained in government-designated residences and accused of “religious fraud.”
The appeal also claim that “some brothers were harassed and beaten” and “some of the sisters were verbally abused and intimidated.”
The Church of Abundance is a historical house church that has been in existence in Xi’an for some thirty years. Although police officers have called it a “xie jiao” (an expression referring to the “heterodox teachings” of the “cults”) during the crackdown, in fact its theology is quite mainline.
The crime Lian Changnian, Lian Xuliang, and Fu Juan are accused of is not in fact “operating a xie jiao” but “religious fraud.”
The investigation focuses on donations, and church members are beaten because they refuse to state that they were put under pressure to donate or were defrauded by the leaders. On the contrary, they insist that the detained leaders used their own personal money to support the elderly and the poor.