Special Report: Religious Persecution in China Part 1 - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Special Report: Religious Persecution in China Part 1

by Stephanie Mills
Newswest 9

MIDLAND - A normal rainy day on the streets of China, but for one pastor, his day takes a turn for the worst. He's seen in striped shirt. More than 20 government officials rush him into a vehicle. As they quickly drive away, the now imprisoned pastor's congregation is left wondering what happened.

His daughter, Zhang Huixin said, "It was a Saturday, many believers were in church doing clean up for Sunday worship, two police show up and pretend to be friendly and have tea together, then all of sudden over 30 police came out and kidnapped my father from his office."

On that day, of November 16th, 2013, Pastor Zhang Shaojie was in his church office when he was taken. His daughter, Zhang Huixin, says two months after his kidnapping, even his lawyers weren't allowed to meet with him. The government charged Pastor Shaojie with fraudulence and disturbing social order. 

Huixin said, "The government keep making false accusation and evidence. When my father was accused by government of committing fraudulence, they can't even produce a witness."

Pastor Shaojie had helped a family of believers after losing their son in a factory fire. The government refused to make compensation to the family. So, Shaojie decided to step in. He helped get the family compensation from the government for more than $700,000. As a thank you, the family gave some of the money to the church and Pastor Shaojie. The government tried to get the family to speak out against him but they refused. The witness in their family hasn't been heard from since.

Pastor Shaojie was sentenced on July 4th, 2014, a day we here in the U.S. see as Independence day, but now this Chinese pastor will spend 12 years in prison. 

But even through all this, Shaojie still has hope.

Huixin said, "So, my father told my younger sister that he is full of energy and passion in the prison and asked us to not worry about him. This is the best location to share the gospel, so God continued to use {him}."

After Pastor Shaojie's kidnapping and arrest, his daughter, Zhang Huixin, spoke out about his freedom. She spoke with media to make an appeal for his release. But the Chinese government arrested and detained her, twice. The second time, with her baby.

She said, "And at the same time, 2 video monitoring devices recorded every second of our movements, at that time our baby was very scared."

Zhang and her baby were released five days later, but were still being monitored. Most everyone in her family had been jailed at that time. When she was behind bars, she said God gave her a reason to hope,

"After taking away every items of my belongings the only item left was a Bible in my pocket and I was so grateful in end, we asked help from pastor Bob Fu to help our freedom."

Bob Fu, along with those in his organization, China Aid, rescued Zhang Huixin, her husband and their baby.
They were taken out of China and flown to the U.S. and are now living in Midland. 
The family has been allowed one year to decide whether to appeal for asylum under religious freedom.

Huixin said, "So I do believe that w/o help of Bob Fu, and co-workers in China Aid, my father might already been missing or disappeared because of this pressure internationally that made my father still in prison alive."
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