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Dozens Detained in Raid on China Church12/10 06:17

   BEIJING (AP) -- A U.S.-based advocacy group says dozens of Christians have 
been detained in a raid on a prominent Chinese church that operates outside the 
government's official protestant organization.

   ChinaAid says at least 80 churchgoers and seminary students from the Early 
Rain Covenant Church were taken away in the southwestern city of Chengdu 
beginning Sunday night.

   It says they include the church's pastor, Wang Yi, and his wife, Jiang Rong. 
China has cracked down heavily on independent church groups this year as part 
of an assault on all religions.

   China requires that Protestants worship only in churches recognized and 
regulated by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Even within that framework, the 
officially atheist ruling Communist Party has been seeking to rein in religious 
expression, including removing crosses from official and unofficial churches.


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