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Gao Zhisheng, a Christian human rights lawyer who has endured much persecution from authorities in recent years (read the story), was confirmed to be alive on March 28 following months of rumours that he had died at the hands of authorities. Over the phone, Gao informed media reporters that he had been released from detention six months ago and had taken up residence at Wutai Shan mountain, a Buddhist landmark in northern Shanxi province. He refused to give details about his condition, saying he could not legally give interviews. The conversations were the first official contact he had with the public since his abduction by police on February 4, 2009. Gao's close friend, fellow human rights lawyer Li Heping, also confirmed he had spoken with Gao, saying: "It's certainly him. I spoke to him over the phone. I could tell from the way he spoke and the way he spoke to me that it's him." When Li asked to visit, Gao refused to give him details on his whereabouts, saying he had "friends around him" -- indicating he is being held under close surveillance by Chinese authorities. Gao's wife, Geng He, and his two children were overjoyed by the opportunity to also speak with him on the phone. Geng He expressed her hope that her husband would soon be able to rejoin his family in the United States. The pressure on Geng He and the family has reportedly intensified during Gao's imprisonment. (Source: ChinaAid)

Thank the Lord that Gao has been confirmed alive after so many months of mystery and concern. Pray that he will be reunited with his family members soon. Pray for safety and guidance for him and for his family in this time.

Find out more about the plight of Chinese Christians at the China Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians in the country, making it possible for them to have their own printed version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, while presenting ways to effectively respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bibles, Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,397,897,720 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Han Chinese (91.6), Zhuang (1.3), Other (7.1)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (18.3), Christianity (5.2), Islam (1.8), folk religion (21.9), Muslim (2) Hinduism (<0.1), Judaism (<0.1), other (0.7), unaffiliated (51.8)

Leader
President Xi Jinping (2013)

Government type
Communist party-led state

Legal system
Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for China

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.

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