By George Whitten, Worthy News Director
BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News)-- Chinese church leader Wang Dao, was free on bail Friday, June 18, but awaited a new trial, following weeks of imprisonment on trumped up charges , his supporters told Worthy News.
"He has endured arrest on arbitrary charges, threat of exile, and temporary denial of the right to meet with his lawyers," said advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA), which has been in close contact with the Christian.
CAA said it has learned that he was released Sunday, June 13, after being imprisoned on May 9 this year, but cautioned that a new trial will resume. "At the present time, Wang Dao is home awaiting notice of his trial, at a date to be determined," confirmed Annee Kahler, China Aid's Media Coordinator, in an interview with Worthy News.
The pastor has complained about alleged unfair procedures. "My case was founded in nothing more than religious persecution," said Wang Dao in a short published statement.
Wang Dao was the "charge of hindering the administration of credit cards," according to his certificate of release obtained by Worthy News. This is the fourth time Chinese authorities have changed the name of his charge. He was originally detained on suspicion of "gathering a mob to disrupt the public order."
The pastor's evangelical Liangren Church continues to face obstacles, Christians said. They have been locked out of their rented building, forced to worship outdoors, ordered to disband from a peaceful meeting in a park, and evicted from another rented building, according to CAA investigators.
Yet, the pastor pledged to continue his Christian activities. "I want to thank the various churches, the international community, concerned fellow Christians, Attorney Li Baiguang and the other Christian human rights attorneys for their efforts on his behalf, leading to his release," added Wang Dao in a statement obtained by Worthy News.
CAA president Bob Fu thanked Chinese authorities for releasing the pastor. "We commend the right decision by the Guangdong authorities to release Pastor Wang Dao after the international outcries for his unjustified imprisonment. We urge the Chinese government to allow pastor Wang and the Liangren house church members to exercise their constitutional and universal rights of religious freedom."