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07/07/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – Zhang Chunlei, an elder at Love Reformed Church in Guiyang, was officially arrested on May 7, 2021, after being detained for seven weeks. He was first placed under detention for “illegally operating as an association” in March of this year when police raided a Christian retreat he was attending at a privately rented property in Guiyang.

According to ChinaAid, on July 3, Elder Zhang’s wife, Yang Ainqing, stated that detention center officials had repeatedly refused to allow his attorney to visit him. She said that the attorney attempted to see him four times and was denied even though his requests complied with the laws. The last time his attorney was able to meet with him was on June 4.

Officials claimed that Elder Zhang was “in interrogation” and that they could not arrange a meeting. Late last year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a renewed crackdown on Christianity, which has resulted in many new raids on churches and many Chinese Christians being arrested on fabricated charges such as “fraud.”

Elder Zhang has been charged with fraud, along with the corruption and embezzlement of public funds, disclosing state secrets, picking quarrels and provoking troubles, and incitement to subvert state power. The CCP routinely fabricates such charges to defame pastors and ministers.

Despite his unjust treatment by the Chinese government, Elder Zhang has said, “I do not have a grudge in my heart against the police. I love them as well as State security officers and prosecutors who handle my case. I pray for them. I love and pray for my country—China.”

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