Elderly Chinese defies torturers in prison. Iranian update.
An elderly Christian man was tied to a chair for 24 hours and threatened by officials in China’s Shanxi province earlier this month.
According to Xi’an Church of Abundance undercover police picked up Brother Wang from his work and drove him to a small hotel where they tied his hands and feet to a chair.
They then threatened him in an attempt to get him to bring charges against the church’s pastors, who had been previously arrested, but he refused.
During the 24 hours that Brother Wang was held he neither drank water nor slept. His family, desperate to know his whereabouts, called the police and discovered that he had been taken away by security officers of the Chanba Bureau of Public Security. He was released the morning of March 2.
Last August police arrested three members of the church including two pastors and held them for six months without informing their families. It is understood they were tortured during the confinement.
However, despite the persecution they are facing, Xi’an Abundance Church members are willing to sacrifice for their faith and are praying for local law enforcement.
Iranian prisoner released
Thank God for the release from prison of Iranian Christian Milad Goodarzi earlier this month. He is the seventh convert known to have benefited from the general amnesty granted to prisoners for the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
In June 2021 Milad and two other converts were each sentenced to five years in prison plus a 40 million toman fine (then about £1,300) under the newly amended Article 500 for ‘engaging in propaganda against the Islamic regime’.
An appeal in August 2021 upheld the convictions but reduced the prison sentences to three years each and removed the fine. Milad and the others were summoned to Karaj Central Prison in November 2021.
Iranian Christians are thankful for Milad’s release, as well as for the other converts included in the amnesty, but affirm that a pardon is not an acquittal and does not address the injustices of the prison sentences nor the suffering that the victims and their families endured.
PRAYER AND PRAISE
Thank God for Brother Wang’s refusal to denounce his pastors despite being tortured; and for the Xi’an Abundance Church which prays for its persecutors. Pray for Wang, Xi’an church and its pastors, and that the Chinese authorities would stop persecuting Christians
Thank God for the release of Milad and the other converts and pray that more Iranian Christians would be eligible for release
(Sources: ChinaAid; Middle East Concern)
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