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
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