Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 29 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Martha, Mary and Lazarus of Bethany
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Chinese Pastor Given One-Year Sentence for Defending Church Against Demolition

© Patrick He / Flickr CC

https://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickhe/875019413

John Burger - published on 03/26/15

Advocates charge that accusations are trumped up

The Chinese communist concept of "public order" has once again trumped the freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. 

According to UCANews.com and other media, a Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced a Protestant pastor to one year in prison for “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.”

How? Pastor Huang Yizi and a group of Christians tried unsuccessfully to protect the cross of Salvation Church from police in July last year.

The sentencing was the first prison term handed down by authorities in Zhejiang province following a demolition campaign targeting hundreds of churches.

Supporters say the charges are trumped up. 

“I think the whole trial was manipulated by the authorities,” the pastor’s lawyer, Zhang Kai, told The Telegraph, adding that his client would appeal. The British paper said: 


The lawyer said around 1,000 Christian supporters gathered outside the court in Pingyang County in the eastern province of Zhejiang. He met his the pastor before the hearing and believed “his state of mind was good.”

Last year Mr Huang, who has a wife and young son, said he was “grateful that God has given him the chance" to go to prison for speaking out against the demolition of churches and crosses in Zhejiang province where he is from.

At least 400 churches were affected by the one-year campaign that saw elderly Christians repeatedly try to defend their places of worship from demolition teams and security guards. Authorities denied Christian churches were being targeted claiming they were taking action against all “illegal structures.”

UCANews gave more background:


Pastor Huang of Fenwo Church was detained in August, a month after baton-wielding police forced their way past Christians at Salvation Church during the height of a provincial campaign in which 400 crosses were removed and 35 churches destroyed in Zhejiang.

A US-based human rights watchdog is following the developments closely, as UCANews reported: “Through arbitrary arrests, baseless prosecution and illegal procedures throughout this trial, this case shows once again the worsening situation of religious freedom and rule of law in China,” said Pastor Bob Fu, president of China Aid.

Said Fu: “We call upon China’s higher authorities to overturn this unjust decision and free Pastor Huang immediately.”

Tags:
ChinaReligious Freedom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
2
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
3
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
4
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
5
PRINCESS DIANA AND MOTHER TERESA
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
6
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.