China releases Christians jailed for attending Gospel event
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Chinese authorities have finally released two Christians who were imprisoned for six months for traveling to attend a Gospel conference in Malaysia, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Together with three others, Zhang Ligong and Wang Runyun of the Xuncheng Reformed house church were arrested in November last year, for what Chinese authorities described as an “illegal crossing” into Malaysia for the KL2020 Gospel and Culture” conference in January 2020, ICC said.
The government claimed they had no permission to go, although they had valid Chinese passports. The government also claimed they were smuggling illegal goods because they had bought several books to bring home from the conference.
Following their arrest and detention in December last year, Song Shoushan, Wang Shiqiang, Zhang Yaowen, Zhang Ligong, and Wang Runyan were sentenced to 6-8 months imprisonment by the Fenyang city court in Shanxi province on January 7, ICC reports. Wang S. and Zhang Y.were released on February 27, and Song Shoushan was released on January 27, ICC said. Zhang Ligong and Wang Runyan were the last to be released on March 27.
Delighted to be free, Wang shared on social media: “My family, we are home! Just letting you know we are well! Thank you all for your prayers during this time, we are grateful!”
China ranks 17th on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. The ruling Chinese Communist Party has embarked on a process of Sinicization involving harsh measures taken to suppress Christianity in the country.
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