Thursday, December 3, 2009

5 Linfen Church Leaders Sentenced to Labor Camps Without Trial

SHANXI, China, Dec. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- On November 30, five more church leaders from Linfen Church, Shanxi, were each sentenced to two years re-education through labor, in an arbitrary administrative sentence by the Public Security Bureau which circumvents the court and prosecution systems. The sentence allegedly took effect November 11th, while they were already detained.
The five Christian leaders included Mr. Li Shuangping, Ms. Yang Hongzhen, Ms. Yang Caizhen (whose husband, Yang Xuan, received three years sentence on Nov. 25), Ms. Gao Qin (a.k.a. Gao Fuqin), and Ms. Zhao Guoai.

The five church leaders were accused of "gathering people to disturb the public order, " referring to the one-thousand-believer prayer rally held on September 14for the victims of the midnight attack on Fushan Church. 17 church buildings were destroyed and over 30 believers were seriously wounded during the unprecedented mob attack on September 13.

"To arbitrarily send five innocent citizens to labor camps directly violates the international human rights covenants and norms the Chinese government has signed and even ratified, " said ChinaAid President Bob Fu. "This case shows the Chinese government is determined to be on the wrong side of history by clenching its power with suppressing the basic freedom of religion and conscience for Chinese citizens. We call upon the international community to hold these rights abusers accountable."

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JMC Response

1 Peter 1:6-7 6[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,
    7So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

Persecution in China has been a long going event, Christianity is the minority and the socialist regime reigns supreme. But this supreme power is nothing compared to what Jesus Christ’s omnipotent power! God can reach the darkest of hearts and help those that are in danger endure.

Matthew 5:10-12 (English Standard Version)

 10(A) "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for(B) theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 11(C) "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely(D) on my account. 12(E) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for(F) so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Cross references:
Matthew 5:12 : Matthew 21:35