(Wuhu, Anhui province—March 16, 2022) Recently, an anonymous Christian in Wuhu posted a prayer request letter on social media, urging other Christians to pray for Wan Hongxia and Wang Minghai of Jordan River Learning Center. They have been formally prosecuted by the local Procuratorate. Their case has been transferred to court, pending trial.
On the morning of May 27, 2021, national security agents, police officers, and staff of the local religious affairs bureau rushed into Jordan River Learning Center while Wan Hongxia, Han Yanlei, and Xie Zhifeng were teaching classes. They forcibly took them away, and confiscated their cell phones, computers, books, and sealed off everything in the school. Meanwhile, they arrested another teaching Wang Minghai, a well-known doctor from a respected hospital in Wuhu. The four Christians were held in the local detention center that day. They also search their homes. They were criminally detained under the charge of “illegal business operation” on the following day.
On May 28, 2021, Wuhu Civil Affairs Bureau published “Notice on Banning Illegal Social Organizations” on its official website. Mount Carmel Church was coercively shut down by the Wuhu government in the name of illegal gatherings. Jordan River Learning Center is affiliated with Mount Carmel Church. An anonymous Christian posted a prayer request letter on social media calling attention to the increased persecution.
Authorities released Han Yanlei and Xie Zhifeng released on bail at the end of February, and the local Procuratorate has officially prosecuted Wang Minghai and Wan Hongxia.
Wang Minghai is a renowned gastroenterologist. As a teacher, He strived to guide children and cultivate a passion for learning. He served parents and children with great humility, and he never received any money from Jordan River Learning Center. Wang even donated money to the school every year to cover some expenses. Wan Hongxia once owned a successful business but decided to serve children as a principal full-time.
Wang Minghai’s and Wan Hongxia’s family members visited them in the detention center. Both insisted on their innocence and refused any punishment imposed on them. They believed they stayed true to God’s teaching, never profiting from illegal earnings, or breaking the law. Thus, they are willing to be imprisoned for the sake of the gospel.
The following is in the prayer letter:
We believe teaching children is the parent’s privilege given by God. Parents are guardians of their children and they are entitled to choose the best type of education for their children. Every Christian parent has the right and responsibility to do so. I pray that God keeps them and guides them to walk on the right path, make good testimony, and earn heavenly rewards. I pray that God protects and comforts their family members. Wang Minghai has two daughters (15 years and 4 years). Wan Hongxia has a 19-year-old daughter. I pray that God strengthens them. I also pray that God revives His Church.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. (2 Timothy 1:7-8)
~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Reporter
ChinaAid exposes abuses in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law. If you wish to partner with us in helping those persecuted by the Chinese government, please click the button below to make a charitable donation.