From The New York Times, via The Unknown Candidate blog:
Every evening in a little village near this coastal city, peasants gather in a private home and do something that used to be dangerous. They pray.
They are Christians gathering in a little “house church,” reflecting a religious boom across China. But their story also underscores another trend: the way the legal system here offers hope of chipping away at the Communist Party dictatorship.
The tale begins a year ago when the authorities here in Shandong Province raided this house church and carted 31 Christians off to the police station. Such crackdowns are the traditional way the Communist Party has dealt with house churches in rural areas, and some Christians have even been tortured to death. [Full Text]