Christian Times: China house church pastor suffering from serious diseases after 10 months in brutal jail

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Christian Times
Jardine Malado
05 October, 2016

■ A house church pastor is now suffering from serious illnesses after being detained in Guizhou Province for 10 months, according to his lawyers.

Yang, the pastor of Huoshi Church in Guiyang, has been accused of "divulging state secrets" in December 2015 after he resisted the authorities who wanted to confiscate church property. His lawyers, Chen Jiangang and Zhao Yonglin, have discovered that he is now suffering from liver pain and other serious diseases, China Aid reports.

In June, the lawyers filed a lawsuit alleging that Yang was tortured in an attempt to force a confession from him. It was reported that the prosecutors threatened his family as well.

In an interview with his lawyer, Yang was able to narrate what the officials told him. According to Yang, one of the prosecutors threatened to kill him and feed him to the pigs.

"No one here sympathizes with you. Do you know why the pigs on the pig farm behind this building are so fat? We can turn you into food for pigs, which is one way to die," one of the prosecutors allegedly told Yang, as reported by China Aid.

The prosecutor went on to discuss other ways to make Yang confess his alleged crimes.

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"We can make you experience something worse than death and then make you disappear from the face of the earth, or I can make arrangements with the detention center to have three or four guys locked here rape you and torture you every night. Suing me won't work. I'm the boss here," the prosecutor continued.

Last August, Yang's lawyers predicted that his trial would take place soon, but the authorities have yet to announce a trial date.

A petition was launched by China Aid and the Lantos Foundation calling on Chinese President Xi Jin Ping to release Yang. It has already received 7,735 signatures.

Yang's church is considered to be the largest house church in Guiyang. The church was able to purchase a larger building in 2014 when the congregation outgrew the capacity of the old buildings.

The authorities tried to prevent the church from holding an opening ceremony by releasing a notice that declared the church as a non-religious group. The church went through with the event despite the threats.

The church received a notice on Oct. 21, 2015 stating that it would be ordered to pay a fine of 12,960 Yuan per day if it continues to use the building for religious activities.

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