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Yan Xiaojie
Photo: ChinaAid

On February 2nd, authorities released Pastor Yan Xiaojie of the China Christian Evangelic Mission in Wenzhou city after serving five months in criminal detention. Public security bureau officials originally apprehended Pastor Yan on August 26, 2015 for circulating prayer requests on social media concerning churches that were being targeted for cross removal in the Zhejiang province.

After Pastor Yan had been given an eight-day administrative detention, he was placed under criminal detention "indefinitely" under suspicion of "gathering a mob to disturb social order." An elder of the church, Cheng Chaohua, who had been detained the day after Yan, was thankfully released last December.

To date, there are still eight other believers from Zhejiang province remaining in detention. Seven of them are church elders or their wives, including prominent Pastor Gu "Joseph" Yuese. The eighth is Christian lawyer Zhang Kai who has been held in an unregistered jail since July of 2015. A previous report on the case of the prominent Beijing-based lawyer, and his efforts against the cross-removal campaign, can be reviewed at this page.

Meanwhile, the congregation of Haicheng Christian Gathering in Wenzhou received an official warning about a month ago that the cross on their premises would also be removed. Prior to receiving notification, the building's electricity and water supply had been cut off.

May the Lord honour and vindicate these faithful believers of China's Zhejiang province who are standing strong in the face of adversity and imprisonment. Pray that their efforts will not be in vain but rather used as a catalyst in bringing about a greater awareness of the tremendous spiritual needs within their country and, ultimately, an outpouring of God's Spirit and resulting revival. Please also intercede for the provincial officials who have instigated and participated in the cross removal campaign, as well as the demolishing of churches, in hopes that they too will experience a reverential fear of the one true God.