Imprisoned Church Elder Formally Charged With “Subverting State Power”
08/19/2022 China (International Christian Concern) – On March 16, 2021, several members of Guiyang Renai Reformed Church were gathered for a Bible study in a rented room at Wenzhou Hotel. Police interrupted them and accused them of hosting an illegal gathering. Several of them were detained and taken by authorities to the local police station.
ICC previously reported that when an elder of the church, Zhang Chunlei, went to the police station to negotiate the release of the members who had been detained, police detained him also. He was supposed to be released after just 11 days of administrative detention, but now, a year and a half later, is still in custody.
Earlier this month, Zhang Chunlei was officially charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and “fraud.” He is still in custody and will remain in prison for the foreseeable future. His wife, Yang Aiqing, is asking for fellow Christians to continue to pray for her husband.
Despite his unjust treatment by the Chinese government, Elder Zhang once 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.”
Elder Zhang’s case is noted by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was marked as being detained for his religious identity and activity. The house church leader is vocal against religious persecution. It is unknown how much longer he will remain incarcerated.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,” Elder Zhang Chunlei’s last Tweet before his arrest.
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