Radio Free Asia: Accused of “divulging state secrets” for exposing cross demolitions, Pastor Zhang Chongzhu from Wenzhou, Zhejiang, has been formally arrested

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Radio Free Asia
Translated by China Aid

■ Pastor Zhang Chongzhu from Wenzhou, Zhejiang, [who was placed under] residential surveillance on Sept. 9 of last year on suspicion of “stealing, spying, buying or illegally providing state secrets for institutions and people outside the country,” has already been formally arrested.

Zhang Chongzhu’s wife told this radio station on March 14 that she received an arrest notice on March 9, and that the criminal charge hadn’t changed. She expressed to the reporter that, although she had already been mentally prepared beforehand, receiving the notice felt very difficult to bear, and she was also extremely worried about her husband’s situation. Furthermore, she insists that her husband is innocent.

In July of last year, the majority of temples and churches in Pingyang County, Zhejiang received notices pressuring them to destroy their crosses. For this reason, Zhang Chongzhu, the pastor of Pingyang Christian Church, sent out an invitation to the outside world, hoping Christians would go to Pingyang County and “stand in a circle and watch” crosses being demolished. At that time, Zhang Chongzhu had previously explained during an interview with this radio station that the local authorities had security in the knowledge that their act of forcibly demolishing crosses had [government] backing, and that he sent out the invitation for lack of a better, more reliable option, hoping that this could be used to attract the attention of the outside world, and cause authorities to exercise restraint. In August of last year, Zhang Chongzhu was arrested along with many other pastors and deacons. After that, though the majority of the people have been released, and Zhang Chongzhu has continued to be detained to this day. (Editor: Shi Shan) 

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