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Photo from ChinaAid

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.