Northern Chinese Church Leader Sentenced To Two Years Imprisonment

Thursday, January 19, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

BEIJING (Worthy News) – A prominent Chinese church leader has begun serving a two-year prison sentence for what his family and friends view as trumped-up charges of “illegally holding materials promoting terrorism and extremism,” Worthy News learned Wednesday.

Christians said Zhao Weikai, detained without a conviction since July 2021, received the court’s decision on December 30. The 36-year-old Christian had been working for the Taiyuan Xuncheng Reformed Church in China’s northern Shanxi Province, despite being closely watched by China’s communist authorities.

Zhao, who studied theology, also declined to send his three children to communist state schools fearing they would be “brainwashed and receive an atheistic education.” Instead, he and his wife, Li Xin, provided homeschooling to their children, further angering officials, according to Chinese sources familiar with the situation.

Eventually, security forces raided their the Christian couple’s home in 2021. They charged him with “illegally holding materials promoting terrorism and extremism,” several sources confirmed.

Confiscated items reportedly included video documentaries on the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, where hundreds and possibly thousands of demonstrators were killed and injured by the Chinese military.

Police also found material on deadly Xinjiang protests in 2009 amid what critics viewed as the Chinese government’s increasingly draconian rule over the region, home to the Uyghur ethnic group.


Ahead of last month’s verdict, Li was not allowed to attend her husband’s trial, held December 15, according to other trial observers.

Christians with close knowledge of the process said he “looked well.”

However, “since Zhao suffers from liver disease, there are continued concerns regarding the Christian man’s health as he now begins to serve his prison sentence,” said the advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC).

A government crackdown on Christians has increased under China’s Communist President Xi Jinping, according to rights activists and
Christian believers. The spread of the Christian faith is seen as a threat to the ideology and power base of the Chinese Communist Party,
church observers say.

VOMC told Worthy News that it has urged its supporters to “pray for the improvement of Zhao’s health as he awaits vindication legally.” It added: “May the efforts of Zhao’s lawyers to file an appeal against the court’s decision be done with wisdom and discernment.”

In a statement obtained by Worthy News, VOMC also asked believers to “prayerfully remember Zhao’s family, who also need God’s comfort,
provision and peace during this difficult time of separation.”

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