(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Gao Zhisheng and his family
Photo from ChinaAid
Since mid-December 2009, rumours have circulated about the condition of Gao Zhisheng, a Christian human rights lawyer who has endured much persecution from authorities (click here for more information). The official who originally detained Gao in February 2009 recently told Gao's brother, Zhiyi, that Gao allegedly "went missing while out on a walk" on September 25. This is the first time a Chinese government official has hinted that they no longer have Gao in their custody, raising fears that his condition has taken a turn for the worse. Unconfirmed reports suggest that he may have died following brutal torture in prison. However, the Chinese government has refused to officially comment on his whereabouts. Bob Fu, the President of VOMC partner ChinaAid, said of the new development: "We have every reason to suspect that the Chinese government has something very serious to hide. Gao's family has every right to know what happened to him. It is unbelievable that a high security prisoner would go missing while 'out on a walk,' without suspecting that there is a major cover up of his condition."

Gao's wife was visibly upset upon hearing the news of his alleged disappearance and his young daughter, Gege, has allegedly been pale and fatigued for months due to concern for her father. After hearing a rumour just before Christmas that her father was dead, Gege became so distraught that she was forced to be hospitalized. At last report, she was receiving care at a hospital in New York. (Source: ChinaAid)

Pray that Gao's whereabouts will be made known and that Chinese authorities will act with integrity in this situation. Pray that Gao's family will trust in the Lord to sustain, strengthen and comfort them.

To learn more about the persecution of Chinese Christians, click here.