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Shouters

Sect Members Sent for “Reeducation” in China
Three members of the underground Protestant church called the Shouters [because shouting is part of their ritual] have been sentenced to one, two, and three years respectively of re-education-through-labor for illegal assembly. The group has been under pressure for smuggling Bibles into the country. (BBC Monitoring Newsfile, Internet, 9/13/02) [csr 1.3 2002]

Religion/China
Arrest for Smuggling Bibles
Hong Kong businessman Li Guangqiang was arrested in early January for smuggling into China "cult publications" — apparently Christian religious books — according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Li was detained last May for importing thousands of Bibles for a banned Christian group, the The Shouters, because it was not the version approved by Chinese authorities. [csr 1.1 2002]

The Shouters, who employ a charismatic style of worship that includes shouting out prayers, was banned by China in 1995 as "an aberrant religious organization," according to Amnesty International. And Li was indicted for "using a cult to undermine the enforcement of the law," according to the Hong Kong-based information Center for Human Rights and Democracy.[csr 1.1 2002]

While President Bush has expressed concern over Li's case, a ministry spokesman said that "no other country should interfere in the independence of China's judicial system." (AP, 1/8/02, Internet) [csr 1.1 2002]

See: "Groups Urge Bush to Protest Execution of Chinese Pastor," Religion Today, Special Report, 1/4/02)[csr 1.1 2002]

Shouters"
"Shouters" in Smuggling Case Say They Are Not A "Cult" / China
Underground Christians in Fujian province yesterday challenged the legal basis of the mainland's prosecution of a Hong Kong man and two mainlanders for trying to smuggle Bibles to them. The followers of the "Shouters" claim they are not a cult — as they have been described by the mainland Government — and insist that the Bibles they were trying to obtain could not be called "cult material." They also said they should not be called Shouters as they had stopped their practice of shouting out their devotion to Jesus Christ. (South China Morning Post. 1/12/02, Internet) [csr 1.1 2002]

Meanwhile, Li Guangqiang, the Hong Kong businessman sentenced to two years in prison for bringing the bibles into China, was released on medical grounds, two weeks before President Bush was set to arrive in China. United States Secretary of State Colin Powell slammed Li's jailing and said the US had been appalled at his treatment. (South China Morning Post, 2/6/02, Internet; Reuters, 2/10/02, Internet) [csr 1.1 2002]