(Hengyang, Hunan province) Two days ago, street evangelist Chen Wensheng was released after serving seven-day administrative detention and eight days in a drug rehab center. Neither Chen Wensheng nor his family received any legal notice about his detention.
Chen Wensheng was enormously grateful that he was detained due to preaching the gospel, believing that it is a rare opportunity God had for Chen to spread the gospel in detention and the rehab center. He said that he was thankful for God’s grace and the church’s intercession:
Thank God for granting me the opportunity to preach the gospel outside, to share the gospel in Hengyang Municipal Detention Center while police detained me there for seven days, and then to proclaim the gospel in Hengyang Municipal Drug Rehab Center for eight days right after the Detention Center. Thank God for bringing me home safely this morning, glory to God! Dear friends, please lift up those who heard the gospel in your prayers.
Afterward, Chen Wensheng proclaimed the gospel in the streets as usual.
|Chen was detained, but his family never received a legal warrant|
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
Chen Wensheng is a Christian attending Hengyang Xiaoqun Church in Hunan province. He was a drug user for over ten years before he converted to Christianity. He initially heard the gospel at a rehab center and became a Christian, and eventually, he got sober because of the gospel. He has been passionate about preaching the gospel since his conversion. He often holds the cross writing “Glorify the Savior” and “Repent, Trust, and Be Redeemed.” He and other Christians from his church emulate what the apostles did, visiting each town and village and proclaiming the gospel in Hengyang and other regions. The farthest place they traveled was Tibet. Last year, national security officers told Chen that he proclaimed the gospel four to five times each month in various regions to over a thousand people.
Chen Wensheng was detained multiple times for sharing the gospel, six times in 2021. Hengyang Municipal Department of National Security, United Front Work Department, etc. threatened Chen Wensheng’s wife to keep him from preaching the gospel. Authorities came to the school where Chen’s daughter-in-law worked and threatened her, saying she could be fired by the school if Chen continued to proclaim the gospel. Chen Wensheng said that he would never give up the mission God grants him while confronting the warning and threats from the police, the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, and the United Front Work Department. In addition, he remains determined to spread the gospel inprison.
Chen Wensheng traveled a thousand miles to Yunnan province and proclaimed the gospel to ethnic minorities in late February. On March 5, at about 10 AM, he was intercepted by national security officers and police of Wenshan. Chen learned that the Hunan Hengyang Politics and Law Committee, United Front Work Department, and National Security Branch came to Wenshan, Yunnan together to him back to Hengyang during the national Two Sessions*. Some departments of the Hengyang government confiscated Chen’s cell phone and then kept him under custody in the lobby of No. 1 Branch of the Wenshan Bureau of Public Security.
He wore a gospel cap, a mask that read “Jesus loves you,” and a cross necklace. His bag and clothes were covered in evangelical signs, so many police officers were curious and checked on him, which turned out to be his opportunity to preach the gospel to the police. Many police officers asked for the gospel fliers.
|Chen Wensheng handed out gospel fliers at the police station|
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
On March 6, Chen Wensheng was transported back to the Hengyang sub-district and shared the gospel with the personnel of the sub-district. He passed a gospel flier to the sub-district dean, telling him, “Dean He, Jesus Christ is the Lord, He was nailed on the cross and resurrected three days later. Your sins will be forgiven, and you will have eternal life if you believe in Jesus.”
Dean He asked him back, “If God asked you to die and sacrifice yourself, would you?” Chen Wensheng replied, “Jesus dedicated his life for us and came back to life three days after His death. We can dedicate our livesto Him as well.”
On March 7, Chen Wensheng was required to speak to the sub-district, police, and other departments. He handed a gospel flier to a female Secretary, saying, “Secretary, this tells us how to be blessed. God created the world, but we humans don’t know him because we are sinners.” That Secretary said, “I am a Communist Party member, so I don’t study it”. Chen Wensheng said, “Secretary, Jesus loves you, may God bless you!” Also, he blessed the officers present.
|Authorities arrested Chen on March 11 and took him to the police station|
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
On March 9, Chen Wensheng joined a package tour organized by a travel agency and went to Anhua county, Yiyang. He preached the gospel to tourists on the way. He said, “The gospel is God’s majestic power, and we should proclaim it using all kinds of wisdom. It is my responsibility to preach the gospel, it is Jesus Christ’s selection that people can believe in him. Glory to God!”
On March 10, Hengyang Politics and Law Committee, United Front Work Department, and National Security Branch drove to another region and arrested Chen Wensheng again and transported him to Hengyang. At the police station, Chen Wensheng still shared the gospel with the police, saying, “I have good news for each of you. What do we humans aim to gain in this world? It is
neither wealth nor fame. Rather, it is God’s love.”
He intended to pray with them together, but some police turned him down. Some thanked him, and one police officer said the prayer with him together: “Lord Jesus, help me, forgive my sins, in the Lord’s name. Amen!”
People didn’t know that he was detained twice until March 26. Chen Wensheng preached the gospel on the streets again the day he was released. He quoted Pastor Wang Yi to encourage himself:
“If I had 500 grams of gold, I would give it to those who persecute me, thanking them for making me gain the incorruptible gold crown and for spending their entire lives on sending God’s children to the cross.”
~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Contributing Reporter
(Translator’s note: The “Two Sessions”
mentioned in this article refers to a time when the legislative body of the
Chinese government meets. It is common practice for authorities to lock up
dissidents, pastors, or evangelists during these sessions.)