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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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Christian Post: Chinese lawyer advocating for Christians amid cross takedowns arrested

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Christian Post
By Marvie Basilan, Christian Post Contributor
August 30, 2015 | 10:53 am

Christian lawyer Zhang Kai was reported to have been arrested and has been out of contact since, following his advocacy and efforts for Christian churches resisting government order to take down crosses from their church roofs.

According to his friend, Yang Xingquan, Zhang and his assistant were taken away by government workers on Tuesday in an eastern province, which has been given a deadline by the authorities to remove the crosses.

A co-church member of Zhang said, "They did it on the quiet, in the middle of the night. By the time we got there, he had already been arrested."

According to the South China Morning Post, the move has been criticized worldwide as unconstitutional and very much against the rights of religious freedom.

The news outlet also said calls to the Wenzhou police were dropped upon mention of the prominent lawyer's name.

In July, local authorities in Zhejiang denied that they were demolishing crosses in churches, but instead are only "relocating" some crosses for "safety" purposes.

Pictured above, government workers take down a giant cross
on top of a Christian church in China.
(Photo: YouTube/China Uncensored)
Wenzhou city, where Zhang was arrested, has been known as the Jerusalem of the East because it is among the few areas with many churches and Christian communities.

According to reports, Attorney Zhang provided legal counsel for churches that were known to resist the government order, thus resulting to his arrest.

The Christian Broadcasting Network says Zhang is only one of the 200 plus human rights lawyers and advocates who have been arrested for the same cause in the past several months.

While more than a thousand crosses have been forcibly taken down, Zhang's arrest happened because communist authorities are starting to fear that they may be losing control of the region, according to Bob Fu, president of China Aid, a group that tracks persecution of Christians in China.

"It reflects the top political leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, especially even President Xi Jinping. They are increasingly nervous about the political and economic instability and insecurity," Fu said.

Meanwhile, other reports say that at least 11 pastors and church members or workers have also been arrested by police this week.

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