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Pastor Zhang Shaojie
Photo: ChinaAid


The trial for an imprisoned pastor charged with "fraud" and "disturbing public order" began on April 10th, only to be suspended indefinitely due to the high tension and the dismissal of his lawyers.

Pastor Zhang Shaojie, who belongs to a state-sanctioned church in Nanle County, Henan Province, was detained in November of 2013 without any formal documentation after church members petitioned a higher authority about a land dispute involving the church. Over 20 church members were also detained. (For more information on his arrest, click here.)

On April 9th, the night before the trial began, Pastor Shaojie's wife and their daughter (along with her one-year-old baby girl) were taken to the Nanle County Public Security Bureau for "interrogation." They were finally released at 1:30 a.m.

When the hearing took place the following day, Nanle County was under a complete lockdown, including a curfew for all residents and the mandatory stationing of guards at every intersection. Only two of Pastor Shaojie's family members were allowed to attend the trial, and a U.S. Embassy official was barred from the courtroom.

During the trial, Pastor Shaojie also decided to dismiss his lawyers from the case -- a decision he made following concerns that they might lose their licenses for representing him.

During this time of great uncertainty for Pastor Shaojie and his family, pray that God's peace and joy will permeate their hearts. May the trial resume again soon, and may justice be done for this wrongly accused pastor. Until then, pray that Pastor Shaojie will use his time in prison to share God's love and light with those who do not yet know our compassionate Saviour.

Visit our China Country Report to learn more about China's persecuted church.

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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