06/29/2018, 10.00
CHINA
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Protestant pastor released after prison and torture

Yang Hua led the domestic Church of the Living Stone. While in prison he developed vasculitis and diabetes but was denied proper treatment.

Guiyang (AsiaNews / Chinaaid) - Protestant pastor Yang Hua has been allowed to return home after two and a half years of imprisonment and torture. Yang is responsible for an unofficial domestic church, the Living Stone (Huoshi).

He was arrested for a few days in December 2015, during a police raid in his community. At the time he was accused of "obstructing justice".  The charged was transformed into "possession and disclosure of state secrets". In 2017 he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

According to his lawyers, before and after the sentence he was tortured to extort a confession. At one point he developed a vasculitis that almost paralyzed his legs and became ill with diabetes. In prison he did not have adequate care.

According to the testimony of his wife, Wang Hongwu, despite all that he suffered, on his release  June 19 last, Yang began to sing a sacred song. "Although my husband has experienced many adversities - said Wang - his faith remains resolute".

At least 68 million Protestants live in China; only 23 million practice faith in state affiliated communities.

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