Pastor Gong Shengliang Suffers Stroke in Chinese Prison

Source:  www.assistnews.net

Date:  2013-05-27

Daughter says former leader of banned house church movement denied medical treatment

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

LOS ANGELES (ANS) -- Gong Shengliang, imprisoned in China since 2001 for his leadership of a large house church movement, lacks medical treatment after suffering a stroke.

House church movement leader
Gong Shengliang

According to a story by Morning Star News, in an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping published on the Websites of China Ministries International and China Aid Association, Gong Huali said her father suffered a "cerebral infarction" (ischemic stroke) late last year that has left him unable to walk or speak. 
 
"Because the complete absence of minimal medical care, his cerebral and cerebellum functions have been severely affected," she wrote. "His life is in serious danger.." 
 
Morning Star News reported that the daughter of the former leader of the South China Church (SCC) movement, which reached 50,000 members before China banned it, wrote in the April 23 letter that she has asked officials in Hubei Province for him to be released on bail for urgent medical treatment. 
 
"But, again and again, our petitions were completely ignored, without any reasonable response," she wrote.

Morning Star News said she added, "It is very urgent for my father to have immediate medical treatment, otherwise he might die soon in the prison or remain disabled for life."

Gong and 16 other Christians from the unregistered house church movement were arrested in August 2001, charged with leading an illegal "cult," and sentenced to death.

Morning Star News said international protests led to withdrawal of the death sentences and a new trial in Oct. 2002. He was then sentenced to life for rape after police tortured female members of his church into testifying that he had raped them, according to the women's later testimony.

"My father was arrested because of his faith in Jesus Christ by the Hubei government in 2001, and was charged with rape," Gong Huali wrote. 

Morning Star News said Pastor Gong was severely tortured after his arrest. In prison he was located in a damp area the first two years, where he suffered from rheumatism and gastroenteritis.

"Once his gastroenteritis caused him unable to eat for two weeks, and he found blood in stools and in urine," Morning Star News said she wrote. "The prison officials were very cruel to him, never giving him any medical care for these last 10 years and more."

Morning Star News said Chinese officials denied that Pastor Gong was tortured when Amnesty International issued an appeal for him in June 2003. That was after his family learned that he had been tortured so badly in Jingzhou prison that he was unable to leave his bed for two weeks.

China Ministries International is an international mission organization dedicated to proclaiming Christ among Chinese people and strengthening the country's church.

For more information go to http://morningstarnews.org

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