China: Two church leaders remain in prison after arrest for attending Gospel event

Tuesday, August 9, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A preacher and church coworker from the heavily persecuted Xuncheng Reformed Church in China’s Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, are still in jail after being arrested in November for “illegally” traveling to Malaysia to attend a Christian conference, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

Minister An Yankui and Zhang Chenghao finally appeared in court on August 5, but their case has not been resolved.

The two Christians were arrested together with five other believers for attending a Gospel event hosted by prominent Chinese Indonesian Pastor Stephen Tong in 2020, ICC said. The Chinese government claimed the group had traveled illegally and that they had broken the law by bringing in Christian books they had purchased for their own use at the event.

The other five believers were also charged and imprisoned but were released earlier this year, ICC said. On Friday, An and Zhang’s lawyers filed a request for a withdrawal of their case, arguing that the court in Fenyang City does not have jurisdiction. However, the judge remanded the case for trial at an unknown later date.

The wives of the two church leaders were also recently imprisoned for 15 days on the grounds that they had gathered for an “illegal” worship service at a hotel on April 3, ICC reports.

The church has requested prayers as they are concerned their remaining preacher, Wang Yingjie, will be taken away and imprisoned.“Please pray for us. May God lead Xuncheng Church’s future path and sustain every person who is weak,” the church said in a statement.

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