August 28, 2014
Update below on Zhang.
At least ten leaders from house churches across Hunan province in central China have been detained in what appears to be an ongoing crackdown.
The ten were accused of organising ‘cults’ and ‘sects’ and ‘undermining law enforcement’. They have been criminally detained, which Release partner China Aid says is the first step towards a formal charge which ‘almost inevitably’ leads to a conviction. Four other Christians have been taken to Shaoyang city for a month of ‘compulsory study’.
The arrests have been linked to an incident in which a Christian woman handing out Gospel tracts on the street gave one to a government employee from a local police station. A local Christian said ‘the entire police forced was mobilised’ to round up the Christians; money, Bibles and church equipment were confiscated from homes and churches.
Meanwhile, church demolitions and ‘modifications’ continue in coastal Zhejiang province. Officials removed the cross on Salvation Church in Wenzhou on August 14, after weeks of confrontations between Christians and government demolition teams. And in Zhejiang’s provincial capital, Hangzhou, the large Gulou Church was forcibly demolished on August 13.
(Source: China Aid)
Please pray for the immediate release of all Christians detained by Hunan officials in the latest crackdown. Pray for an end to Zhejiang officials’ church demolitions and cross removals.
Pray that Christians in both Hunan and Zhejiang provinces will know that God is their rock and their deliverer (Psalm 18:2).
Latest: Pastor Zhang has been allowed a Bible! And wife allowed a monthly visit.
Pastor Zhang Shaojie of Nanle County Christian Church in China’s Henan province has lost his final appeal against a 12-year prison sentence for ‘fraud’ and gathering a crowd to disrupt public order’. Pray that Pastor Zhang and his family will know God’s peace: pray too that he will be released early, despite this ruling. (Source: ChinaAid). Pastor Zhang Shaojie has now been in prison for more than a year, having initially been taken into custody on
November 16, 2013. In October last year he was moved from Baiaohe Prison in Neihuang County, Puyang, to Henan
Prison No. 2 in Xinxiang. His family are considering their optons in appealing against his sentence.
Zhang Cuijuan, sister of Pastor Zhang Shaojie was recently sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison. Her imprisonment is part of the ongoing persecution of Pastor Zhang and the Nanle County Christian Church.