|China||GOVERNMENT ARRESTS 16 CHRISTIANS|
The Chinese government arrested 16 members of a Christian group in a crackdown on underground churches earlier this month, according to a human rights group on Monday.
The Hong Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said police entered a meeting of the China Evangelistic Fellowship at a member's home in the city of Xinyang and arrested 16 people, confiscating their Bible and seizing money and property belonging to Hao Huaiping, whose home was used for the meeting.
Hao and a church leader, Jian Qinggang, are expected to be sentenced to prison terms in a forced labor camp. Jian was just released from a labor camp last month. Four other members of the outlawed group were sentenced to labor camps in December.
The Communist Chinese government requires Christians to worship only in state-controlled associations, including the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which eschews any connections to the Vatican or the Pope. Many Catholics worship in illegal, underground churches, following only bishops appointed by the Pope.