Woman Held After Trying to 'Bring Gospel' to Chinese President

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A young Chinese worshipper attends Christmas Eve mass at a Catholic church in Beijing on Dec. 24, 2014.
A young Chinese worshipper attends Christmas Eve mass at a Catholic church in Beijing on Dec. 24, 2014.

Authorities in China's capital have detained a Christian believer from the northeast of the country after she tried to put up placards outside government headquarters in the heart of Beijing in a bid to "spread the gospel" to President Xi Jinping and his wife.

Zhou Jinxia, from the port city of Dalian in Liaoning province, was taken away by police shortly after she arrived and held up her placard, which read "God, who loves the world, is calling Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan," in a reference to Xi's wife.

Zhou, who has a track record of trying to convert ruling Chinese Communist Party officials, told RFA from inside the police car that she had been stopped as soon as she reached the front gate of the Zhongnanhai government compound, right next to Tiananmen Square.

Officers who detained her then took her to a psychiatric unit for a check-up, but Zhou denied having any form of mental illness.

"In the past, I have also spread the gospel to the mayor and the party secretary of Dalian," Zhou said. "But they resisted, and refused to meet with me. They were not receptive."

"So this time, I decided to come to spread the good news to Xi Jinping, because today is Christmas."

'Changing corrupt thoughts'

She said it was still unclear what would happen to her.

"The policeman in this vehicle said I would be taken to the police station and maybe released," Zhou said. "But I'm not particularly worried. I will accept whatever comes."

Zhou said she became a member of an unofficial Protestant "house church" in Dalian after years of unsuccessful attempts to win compensation for her forced eviction, through China's "letters and visits" petitions system.

She said she gave up petitioning two years ago to spread the gospel instead, in a bid to change the values of ordinary people and to "change the corrupt thoughts" of individuals.

Reported by Wen Yuqing for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.





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