Five Christians were given sentences for up to 5 years in prison for meeting in an underground church. The five were some of 40 who were gathered to pray when they their service was disrupted by armed police men in March of 2016. They have been charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order.” China has been cracking down hard on underground church members in an attempt to coerce unregistered churches to join the state run church known as the Three Self Patriotic Movement.
4/26/2017 China (Asia News) – A court in Xinjiang convicted five Christians on 18 April for “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”, sentencing them to three to five years in prison.
The ruling by the Chongji City People’s Court follows a trial on 27 October 2016. All five, who are ethnic Han Chinese, pleaded not guilty and said they would appeal the verdict.
Yang Zhaocun (杨兆存), a 38-year-old pastor from Jinchang in Gansu, was sentenced to five years.
Wang Lulu (王璐璐), a 28-year-old pastor from Yan’an in Shaanxi, was sentenced to five years.
Cheng Yajie (程亚杰), a 26-year-old from Manas County in Chongji Hui Autonomous Prefecture (Xinjiang), was sentenced to four years.
Liu Yan (刘燕), a 40-year-old clinic manager from Chongji City, was sentenced to three years in prison.
Zheng Lan (郑兰), a 68-year-old from Xuchang City in Henan Province, was sentenced to three years.