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Jailed Chinese Pastors Won’t Back Down

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Shawn Akers

Two pastors and a member of a Chinese house church in Shanxi remain in jail after being arrested last August on questionable charges that they had defrauded their congregation through the gathering of tithes and offerings.

The case of preachers Li Jie and Han Xiaodong and church member Wang Qiang has been sent back to the Bureau of Public Safety for “further investigation.”

U.S.-based group China Aid reported on the condition of the three members of Covenant House Church in Shanxi and asked believers to pray for them. Officials for China Aid, which monitors human rights violations in China, say the resumption of the investigation allows police to continue their persecution of church members.

China Aid reported that the two preachers were arrested months ago during an outdoor family camp and that Chinese officials “coerced false confessions from some church members, which led to Qiang’s arrest. All three, the Christian Post reports, were “subsequently charged with ‘fraud’ based on purportedly false testimonies.”

Xiaodong’s wife, Chen Ying, wrote a letter to her imprisoned husband last month and encouraged him to remain steadfast in the faith and to share God’s story with those around him.

“I have recalled all our stories recently. I realized God called both you and me,” Ying wrote in a social media post. “I see God’s amazing grace in our marriage and life; God’s plan will continue. I have experienced the marvelousness and dancing with the Spirit.”

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The targeting of the house church began after Lie Ji signed a joint statement by hundreds of Chinese pastors and leaders in 2018, declaring their faith. Chinese Christians have come under greater persecution and pressure to demonstrate “unswerving” allegiance to Premier Xi Jinping and to reject the Christian faith, the Christian Post reported.

Many evangelicals in China are being targeted and arrested on charges of belonging to a “cult,” corruption or participating in illegal religious activity. {eoa}

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

 


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