Chinese pastor under arrest! #FreeYangHua
In December 2015, Communist Party police authorities arrested Yang Hua, a pastor of the largest house church in Guiyang (the largest city in the Chinese province of Guizhou).
His house church has been persecuted by authorities for some time now. When the church sought a bigger space for their growing congregation in 2014, the government set their sights on the church and targeted them for persecution. In October, the government complained that the church's locations were not officially approved, and assessed massive fines for non-compliance (about $2,000 USD per day).
Christian house churches are perceived to be "dangerous" by Communist Chinese authorities. Freedom of worship is frequently impeded or denied altogether.
In early December, Communist Party authorities confiscated a hard drive belonging to the church. When Yang protested against the confiscation, he was imprisoned for five days for "obstruction of justice" and attempting to "disturb social order." On the day he was scheduled to be released from detention, Yang's wife arrived to pick him up—only to find four men pulling a black hood over her husband's head and forcing him into an unmarked van with no license plates. She later discovered that Yang was being accused of "illegally holding state secrets."
Things only got worse. The sentence soon changed to "divulging state secrets" and on January 22—after weeks in languishing in a secret prison—Yang was officially arrested. When his lawyers were finally able to meet with him on March 23, they reported that authorities had threatened Yang in order to elicit forced confessions for fabricated crimes. They also reported that Yang had lost weight while in confinement.
The officials reportedly told Yang, “We know we cannot change your beliefs. However, we control everything and can completely succeed in painting you as a greedy pastor, causing you to lose all of your reputation.”
We must bring attention to Yang Hua's plight. His unjust arrest and the bogus charges against him are intended to be a warning to Christians who dare worship God in their homes in fellowship with other believers. Of course, Yang Hua is one among many thousands of Chinese who have been imprisoned for challenging the Communist Party's oppression of religious believers.
Sign the petition to send a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Mission to the United Nations, asking them to #FreeYangHua and to respect Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights!
Sign this petition now!
Petition to: Chinese President Xi Jinping