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Pastor Zhang Shaojie from China Aid
Pastor Zhang Shaojie
Photo: China Aid

Pastor Zhang Shaojie of the Nanle Country Christian Church, in the Henan Province, is "barely alive" after suffering various forms of torture in prison, according to reports from his daughter. He is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence which officially began in 2014.

His daughter Esther expresses concern that Pastor Zhang is suffering both mentally and physically as a result of meagre food rations and sleep deprivation. When his sister, Zhang Cuixia, visited on July 7th, she testified that her brother appeared fragile and was not allowed to discuss events outside of the prison. According to his sister, he looks "like a bag of bones," with dark discoloration encircling his eyes.    

During the sister's visit, government agents monitored her conversation with Pastor Zhang, limiting it to only talk about family members and praise of new policies under Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping. The siblings decided to subvert these restrictions, speaking highly of life inside and outside the prison, using their facial expressions to communicate the opposite.

In December 2013, church members, lawyers and Christians visiting the family of detained Pastor Zhang were beaten, harassed and detained themselves by "hired thugs" who work for police and government agencies. For more information on Pastor Zhang's case, review VOMC's previous reports.

In the face of such injustice and abuse, may Pastor Zhang be greatly strengthened and renewed -- spiritually, emotionally and physically -- as he awaits release (2 Corinthians 4:7-9). Pray additionally for his family, that they would receive ongoing strength and encouragement from above, despite having witnessed the long-suffering of their loved one, knowing that God is able to accomplish the impossible. Ask the Lord to also help the many other Christians in China who are in the midst of their own fiery battles, that they may stand firm and testify of His greatness so many more in their country will experience eternal salvation.

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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