|Elder Zhang Chunlei and Yang Aiqing with Jiang Rong and Pastor Wang Yi
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
(Guiyang, Guizhou province—August 16, 2022) Zhang Chunlei, the elder of Renai Reformed, has been charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and “fraud.” Yang Aiqing, Zhang’s wife, found out from her husband’s lawyer who was finally allowed to review the case files last week. Prior to this, authorities denied his requests to review the files several times. Still, they did not allow him to take pictures of some written records. Elder Zhang was officially charged on January 27.
Since Elder Zhang’s case was transferred from Guiyang City People’s Procuratorate to Guiyang City Intermediate People’s Court in late January, his lawyer has requested to review his case files several times on January 5, March 30, and June 6. However, Guiyang City Intermediate People’s Court denied his requests. Consequently, elder Zhang and his lawyer couldn’t receive a written recommendation to initiate prosecution.
On the morning of August 9, Zhang’s lawyer visited him at Guiyang City Detention Center. Elder Zhang Chunlei was in good health and received his indictment paper. He claimed he was not guilty due to his Christian belief, and those fabricated charges were persecution against religious freedom. He sent greetings to churches and fellow Christians.
On March 16, 2021, police raided Ren’ai Reformed Church, and they arrested the pastor and several members. Elder Zhang Chunlei went to the local police station to visit the arrested Christians later that evening. However, officers arrested him at the police station. They administratively detained Zhang for 15 days the next morning. After the detention period ended, he was criminally detained for another 37 days. He was formally arrested on May 1 and charged with fraud. It was said the Procuratorate wanted to change his charge into “inciting subversion of state power.” They have since decided to combine the charges.
Mrs. Yang Aiqing asks fellow Christians to continue to pray for her husband. She cited several Bible verses in her prayer request letter:
“I will witness how the evil people abuse their power and fabricate lies against elder Zhang.
Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out. (Psalm 10:15)
God will reveal any injustice. If He Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. (Proverbs 22:8)
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)”
~Yu Bing, China Aid special reporter
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