» 02/08/2007, 00.00
Three years in jail for denouncing destruction of churches
Liu Fenggang, 48 years, a Protestant leader, was condemned for denouncing the destruction of unofficial places of worship. The court decided he had “revealed state secrets”.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – A well-known unofficial Protestant pastor, Liu Fenggang, has been released after three years in prison. He was arrested for denouncing the destruction by the Chinese government of Christian places of worship. His release was reported by the China Aid Association (CAA), a US-based non-governmental organization that lobbies for religious freedom in China.
Liu, 48 years, returned home to Beijing on 5 February. He had been arrested on 13 October 2003 in Hangzhou as he was visiting the leaders of some house churches that had been destroyed. He was convicted of spreading news about the destruction that was considered to be a “state secret”.
During his detention, the pastor was hospitalized five times for serious cardiac problems and diabetes. Liu had already spent two years in a laogai (camp of rehabilitation through work) in 1995 for his work in house churches in the capital.
Immediately after his release, the Christian leader said: “I am very thankful of God's grace and the prayers and letters from brothers and sisters all over the world. My mom died during my first imprisonment in 1995 and my little son [pictured with Liu above] grew without me during the past three years.”
And yet, he added: “The suffering my wife and son had to endure is nothing compared to the martyred brothers and sisters in China. I will continue to stand up for this just cause for which I am called, to speak up for the persecuted."
1,958 Evangelical Christians arrested in one year
The worst persecution took place in Henan, where 823 Christian pastors and followers were arrested. Those hardest hit were community leaders and teachers: the government fears they may corrupt new generations.
Three Chinese Protestant leaders arrested
Xinjiang: Pastor and 35 unofficial Christians arrested
Police from the northern province attacked participants of a bible training programme in a suburb of the capital. A Korean pastor from America was leading the session. They confiscated bibles and "other Christian material".
Christmas prayer prohibited by police
Online church activist arrested
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
18/05/2017 ASIA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.