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Zhang Shaojie

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pastor Zhang Shaojie, of Nanle County Christian Church in China’s central Henan, is currently serving a 12-year prison term for “gathering a crowd to disrupt the public order” and a fabricated fraud charge.

He was initially detained on Nov. 16, 2013, when authorities asked to meet with him at his church. Instead, authorities bound Zhang, who served as the local head of the China Christian Council and Three-Self Patriotic Movement, and took him into custody (http://www.chinaaid.org/2013/11/update-three-self-sanctioned-church.html).

Authorities detained more than 20 church members, spanning from the day before Zhang’s detention to several days after his detention. The cause of the persecution is said to be a land dispute between the Nanle County government and the church, about which the church sent several groups to Beijing to petition higher authorities there after being unsatisfied with the outcome at the local level.

Heavy persecution of the church continued well into the summer of 2014. On July 4, 2014, Zhang was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his charges despite his lawyers’ arguments, which included the fact that police had essentially kidnapped the alleged victim of Zhang’s fraud case (http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/02/pastors-trial-postponed-story-behind.html).

On Aug. 21, the Puyang Intermediate People’s Court rejected Zhang’s final appeal, leaving him with almost no chance of justice. His lawyers’ had repeatedly asked for a different court to hear the appeal due to the clear corruption of the Puyang Intermediate People’s Court to no avail (http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/08/henan-court-rejects-house-church.html).

Zhang was 49 years old at the time of his detention.

For more information, visit http://www.chinaaid.org/search/label/Nanle%20County%20Christian%20Church?&max-results=25.

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China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org

"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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