Date: November 29, 2012
After being illegally detained for more than a year, Christian poet Li Bifeng was sentenced with a fabricated charge of "contract fraud," stemming from a legitimate business deal. As of the November 19th sentence, the dissident poet is now facing 12 more years in prison.
Interestingly, Li had become a Christian while imprisoned for seven years (due to writing poetry promoting freedom in 1998). Prior to that, he served five years for his participation in the Tiananmen democracy movement in 1989. It is widely believed by international observers that the excessive sentence is meant to exact revenge for his aid in assisting the escape of famous exiled Chinese writer Liao Yiwu. Liao is the author of the book, "God is Red," which was selected in 2011 as the best title by "Christianity Today."
Last August, the prosecutor in the case wanted Li's 17-year-old son, Jiang, who is studying in North America, brought back to China. Li's business and assets were confiscated, preventing him from providing financial assistance to his son. Organizations such as VOM-Canada have helped to raise support for his son's tuition and living expenses during 2012, so that Jiang would not need to return to China and thus face impending harm.
Please pray that the Lord would provide the means to appeal the court's decision against Li, bringing him deserved vindication. In addition, pray that Jiang will be able to successfully complete his studies. During these very trying circumstances, may Li and his family experience the Lord's mighty power not only to endure but also to rise triumphantly over them (Ephesians 6:10-19).
For more information about China's persecuted Church, go to www.persecution.net/china.htm.