VOM News, 11/3/2003: Mr. Zhang Yi-nan, a Chinese house-church writer and historian, has been sentenced to two years of laojiao—“re-education through labor”—by the Re-education Through Labor Commission of Ping Ding Shan County in Henan Province.
He was allowed to see his wife at the gate of the Lu Shan County Detention Center at 10 a.m. this morning, then escorted to a police car and driven away to an undisclosed labor camp.
Zhang was arrested along with Xiao Bi-guang on September 26 and charged with “subverting the Chinese government and socialist order.” Xiao was released last week and returned to his family in Beijing. At that time, a source inside the Beijing PSB told VOM contacts that, “Zhang doesn’t have a criminal problem. He has a mind problem. He is too superstitious.”
The Commission apparently used Zhang’s personal prayer journal against him, quoting sections like, “We ask the Lord to destroy the strongholds in China.” He also wrote out prayers that God would destroy Atheistic organizations in China. Those words, according to local PSB official Li Hai Tao, constituted “anti-Party, anti-Socialist” writings. All of the evidence was confiscated from Zhang’s house during a search on September 28, the day his wife was also arrested. She has since been released.
“The Chinese government thinks that anyone who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ isn’t thinking clearly,” said VOM [Voice of the Martyrs] spokesman Todd Nettleton. “They will now try to convince Brother Zhang to deny his faith and think like the Party wants him to. We urge Christians around the world to pray that God will sustain Zhang and his family during this time.”
In his writing and research, Zhang has met with countless Christians who have been arrested, mistreated and imprisoned by Chinese authorities. “The Lord has prepared him in unique ways to face this persecution,” said Nettleton.
Christians around the world are encouraged to pray for Zhang and to protest this unjust sentence. The Re-education Through Labor Commission of Lu Shan County can be reached by calling (from the US) 011-86-375-2924123, extension 23050.
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