Chinese detain 47 Christians as Bush tours Beijing

Chinese police have detained 47 Christians after breaking up a prayer meeting in a village near Beijing, a human rights group said.

Chinese police have detained 47 Christians after breaking up a prayer meeting in a village near Beijing, a human rights group said.

The detentions came the same day Chinese President Jiang Zemin said in a joint press conference with George Bush that China's people have freedom of worship.

President Jiang said no-one is arrested just for their faith. But Chinese law requires all religious groups be approved and monitored by government authorities.

The 47 had their Bibles confiscated and were denied drinking water after their detention, the Information Centre for Human Rights & Democracy said.

Most have now been released, but 15 are still in custody, the Hong Kong-based centre said. Beijing police refused to comment.

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