UPDATED: Verdict for Christians in Cao County, Shandong released

Lawyer Chen Jiangang holds a banner
outside the court, reading “Believing
in Christ is our freedom; persecuting
Christians is a crime.”
(Photo: China Aid)

China Aid

By Rachel Ritchie

UPDATED at 9:04 a.m., May 28, 2015: Zhao Weiliang and Cheng Hongpeng were sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively, for “utilizing a cult to obstruct justice.”

(Cao County, Shandong—May 27, 2015) Chen Jiangang, a Christian lawyer representing two church members in China’s coastal Shandong who are accused of “cult” crimes, told China Aid that their verdict is expected to be announced today.

The defendants, Zhao Weiliang and Cheng Hongpeng, were detained on June 25, 2014, when 22 Christians gathered to practice hymns for their church. When their trial began on April 22, the judge declared that the verdict would be announced at a later time.

Another of the choir practice’s attendees, Wang Aimei, who lives in a neighboring county has also been in detention since the initial incident. Her verdict, declaring that she is exempt from criminal penalty, was announced on May 22.

China Aid provides legal aid in cases like this to ensure innocent Christians aren’t penalized for practicing their religion and to encourage lawyers, who typically use their own funds to defend these cases, to take a stand against wrongful persecution against Chinese citizens’ right to religious freedom. Please join China Aid in supporting human rights defense lawyers by making a gift here.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.chinaaid.org

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