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Zhang Chongzhu
Photo: ChinaAid

The pastor of a state-run church in China's coastal Zhejiang province was released at noon on May 9th after an eight-month detention. Authorities took Zhang Chongzhu, the pastor of Pyongyang Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church, into custody on September 8, 2015. The detained Christian leader, who spent most of the year resisting a government-backed cross demolition campaign, was charged with "stealing, spying, buying, or illegally providing state secrets or intelligence to entities outside China."

This same charge was given to Zhang Kai, a human rights lawyer who legally defended churches affected by the demolition efforts. Both men had been scheduled to meet with the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom, David Saperstein, causing members of Zhang Chongzhu's church to suspect a correlation between this meeting and his detention.

To review a report on the recent release of Zhang Kai, click here. For previously posted reports on the cross demolition campaign, you may also wish to check this page.

Rejoice with us over the release of these steadfast brothers in Christ, who have suffered in prison for standing up for our God. It is not an easy task to remain firm in one's beliefs when trouble arises, but we are reminded in His Word that believers who do so will be rewarded in eternity. Please pray for those who wish to remove all signs of Christianity from China’s landscape. May they witness the strength and compassion of Jesus Christ through the lives of His children and, as a result, personally experience His transforming love as well.