Monday, January 11, 2010

Christians Facing More Persecution in Xinjiang China in 2010

XINJIANG, China, Jan. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- With the turn of the new year, a wave of persecution has struck Han and Uyghur Christians alike in the ethnically and religiously charged Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
On December 25, 2009, farm leaders and police broke into the home of Wang Qiyue, a 71-year-old widow, disrupting the Christmas gathering and ransacking her home. These "People's Police" burned Ms. Wang's furniture, as she was thrown against a police car by the Korla Chief of Security, Yu Fagan. Six farm leaders next barged into the home of 69-year-old hemiplegic He Cuiying, and confiscated more than 30 Bibles and spiritual books. The leaders then burned the materials in a bonfire outside her home, as a means of public humiliation. Later, five elderly Christians were arrested with no cause and fined 5,000 Yuan each.
Read more about the persecution of the elderly Christians in Korla.
On January 7, 2010, Attorney Li Baiguang sent letters of appeal on behalf of Alimujiang Yimiti to the Xinjiang Provincial Government and Chinese Central Government. In the letters, he stated that, by law, the charge of "unlawfully providing state secrets to overseas organizations" and the sentence of 15-years imprisonment were illegal and should be withdrawn. He further requested an immediate review of the case.
Read more about Li Baiguang's Appeal on behalf of Alimujiang Yimiti.
At 5:00 PM the same day, Nong Wu Shi PSB officials in the Aksu region raided a house church, arresting 14 house church members. The military PSB detained the members for over 12 hours, on charges of participating in "illegal religious activities." The next morning, 11 were released, leaving house church leaders Yang Tianlu, He Sujin, and Sujin's son, He Guangyuan, in detention.
Read more about the raid and arrest of 14 Han Chinese house church Christians.
President of ChinaAid Bob Fu believes the Xinjiang government must acknowledge these horrible acts of persecution, and root out the seeds of corruption sown by local government officials violating Chinese law. ChinaAid urges the international community to continue praying for religious freedom in Xinjiang and throughout China.

Homeschool Freedoms Under Fire in U.S

PURCELLVILLE, Va., Jan. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- This week the New Hampshire House of Representatives plans to vote on whether to strictly regulate homeschooling. Opposition is mounting against the Democratic leadership who are using a legislative maneuver to override the recommendations of a bi-partisan legislative study committee who recently voted 14-6 that the proposed new homeschool law (House Bill 368) is "Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL)." 
Democratic Representative Barbara Shaw, a retired teacher with 45 years experience and author of the majority report recommending that H.B. 368 is Inexpedient to Legislate said, "After studying this issue for several years I've gotten to know homeschoolers, the law, and how the system works and I'm convinced that it is working fine – there are no changes needed. Some people have accused me of doing a 180 on homeschooling - and I would have to admit that's true. But that's because I've seen that homeschooling is working for children in our state and the current law is adequate."
Republican Minority Leader Sherman Packard said that his party supports no further changes in the state's homeschooling law. "We've always supported homeschoolers – we aggressively support ITL. Until the end of last week we weren't aware that there was a problem with this legislation since the majority report was ITL."
"Trying to sneak through massive changes in the New Hampshire homeschool law by manipulating the system is unacceptable. The Democratic leadership and the Chairman of the Education Committee know that if they allowed an open process the overwhelming majority would vote Inexpedient to Legislate," said HSLDA staff attorney Mike Donnelly.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 27-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.