Wife of imprisoned Christian updated for the first time in seven months



Wednesday, July 6, 2022




Brother Zhao Weikai’s family
(Photo: ChinaAid source) 




(Lüliang, Shanxi province – July 6, 2022) On June 30, Li Xin received an update regarding her husband Brother Zhao Weikai, a co-worker of Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church.  Zhao was arrested almost one year ago. The last update she received was more than seven months ago. Imprisoned in Fangshan County Detention Center, brother Zhao is very peaceful and in good health.

 

His lawyer visited in the detention center for Zhao’s 36th birthday. The year before he spent his 35th birthday with national security agents and suffered a panic attack. During the most recent visit, Zhao asked about his church and other co-workers. In the afternoon of June 30, his lawyer went to Lüliang Intermediate People’s Court and scheduled a pre-trial meeting for mid-July. Sister Li asked fellow Christians to continue to pray for Brother Zhao’s trial and pray that he can testify for the gospel during his trial.

 

Both Zhao Weikai and Minister An Yankui serve Zion Reformed Church in Taiyuan. They have remained close friends for many years after studying theology together in Chengdu Huaxi Seminary, founded by Pastor Wang Yi. To prevent their three children from receiving an atheistic brainwashing education, Zhao and Li homeschool their children. Consequently, officials from the Religious Affairs Bureau, Education Commission, and National Security Agency repeatedly “invited” Brother Zhao to “talk” with them. Although these Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members threatened to arrest him, he refused to compromise his belief and continued to provide a Christian education to his children in his home.

 

On May 17, 2021, police officers summoned Zhao to their station in the name of “proselytism,” and raided his home. They summoned his wife that same day. Approximately 20 police officers raided Zhao’s home. Some officers remained in his home and searched his property while others sent him to the police station. While there, police confiscated numerous books, a computer, a hard drive, and a flash drive. They failed, however, to present any legal proof for their search, nor did they document items they impounded. After raiding Brother Zhao’s home, officers transported Li to their station. Authorities ordered Zhao to serve a 15-day administrative detention sentence.

 

Three days after his arrest, Minister An, Zhao’s lawyer, and his family traveled to Lishi Detention Center to visit. Officials, however, denied their request. The group repeatedly requested to see Zhao, but authorities kept citing excuses to deny visitation, including "the case involves classified information," or “the case involves national security concern.”

 

Brother Zhao remained in detention until it ended June 1, nevertheless, police officers raided his home during this time, and found documentaries relating to the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the Xinjiang riot. Authorities seized videos to use as “evidence” for his new charge. During the morning of July 7, police again summoned Zhao. Authorities notified his family that they had criminally detained Zhao and held him in Fangshan County Detention Center under the charge of “illegal holding of materials promoting terrorism and extremism.” According to Article 120 (VI) of Criminal Law:



Whoever illegally holds any book, audio or video materials or any other article while obviously aware that it advocates terrorism or extremism shall, if the circumstances are serious, be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than three years criminal detention, or surveillance in addition to a fine, or be sentenced to a fine only.

 

 

 

On July 23, lawyer Fang Xiangui met with Lüliang City procuratorate to appeal to the procuratorate regarding Wenshui County Public Security Bureau’s Law Enforcement misconducts. Concerns included:

  • illegal confiscation of Minister Zhao’s personal belongings,
  • illegal administrative detention of Minister Zhao, and
  • illegally preventing Lawyer Fang from meeting with Minister Zhao.

But attorney Fang encountered numerous obstacles from the procuratorate. 

 

The arrest of Brother Zhao Weikai was also meant to target Minister An Yankui. Minister An is deeply influenced by Pastor Wang Yi. In 2018, Pastor Wang Yi initiated the joint-signature campaign, and An was one of the first Christian leaders to add his name. CCP authorities have also repeatedly raided Zion Reformed Church, as well as summoned and detained Minister An several times. They arrested An Yankui after the Sunday service last November. He was formally arrested on December 28, 2021 under the charged of “illegally crossing the national border.” Currently, he is detained in Xiaoyi City Detention Center. His case has been transferred to the Court.

 

~Yu Bing, China Aid Special Reporter



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