Date: Sepember 4, 2014
Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, China Aid
|Pastor Zhang Shaojie
Pastor Zhang Shaojie, who was sentenced in July to 12 years' imprisonment and ordered to pay a hefty fine, has lost his appeal of the false charges. Pastor Zhang is the leader of Nanle County Christian Church in Henan, which belongs to the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement. In November and December of 2013, Pastor Zhang and over 20 others were detained without formal documentation after a group of church members attempted to petition a higher authority about a land dispute involving the church. Fortunately, on August 22nd -- the day after Pastor Zhang's appeal was rejected -- one of the four other Christians remaining in detention was released on bail pending trial. (For more information on Pastor Zhang's charges, please visit our website.)
Pastor Zhang's family has not been spared in the ongoing persecution against this church. Thankfully, Pastor Zhang's daughter, son-in-law and one-year-old granddaughter managed to leave their home country for the United States in July. "Our family and our church want to thank the U.S. government and many anonymous church leaders in different parts of the world for helping assist our family's hard-fought freedom," stated Zhang's daughter, who was quoted in an e-mail from Bob Fu, the leader of VOMC partner China Aid. "Our family comes here to raise awareness of the deteriorating situation of religious freedom in Nanle and in China."
Please remember this dear family in your prayers as they endure continued suffering for Christ's name. Despite his appeal being rejected, pray that Pastor Zhang will soon be acquitted of the false charges placed against him. Until then, may this minister of the Gospel rest in the sure knowledge that he has not been forgotten by God who has promised to hold him safely in His hands. Thank the Lord that Pastor Zhang's daughter has been able to flee to safety in the United States with her family. May they be supported and encouraged by their American brothers and sisters in Christ as they adapt to a new life far away from loved ones remaining in China. Ask that the Lord will also grant them opportunities to use their freedom in the West to serve as advocates for the release of Pastor Zhang and the other detained members of the church.
To post your own prayers for this family, visit our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.