The U.S. voiced concern Tuesday after China sentenced Christian pastor Wang Yi to nine years in prison after he was found guilty in a secret court of subverting state power and illegal business activities.
Wang was detained last December along with more than 100 of his parishioners as part of China’s crackdown on unregistered places of worship, including churches and mosques.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus called for his immediate release, saying his detainment and sentencing were “yet another example of Beijing’s intensification of repression of Chinese Christians and members of other religious groups.”
“We continue to call on Beijing to uphold its international commitments and promises made in its own constitution to promote religious freedom for all individuals, including members of ethnic and religious minorities and those who worship outside of official state-sanctioned institutions,” Ortagus said in a statement.
Wang ran the Early Rain Covenant Church, which was not officially registered with the Chinese government, before he was taken into custody. His church, which has been officially closed by Beijing, issued a statement on Monday saying he was sentenced “for proclaiming the gospel.”
A statement, which was issued in Wang’s name by the church on its Facebook page, quoted the pastor as categorically denying the charges he was found guilty of.
“Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons,” he said. “I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.”
In addition to his prison term, Wang will be deprived of his political rights for three years and will be fined 50,000 Chinese yuan, or $7,180.
以人为帝，以国为天，以权为神 The Emperor is God, the State is Heaven, and Power is Divine- 王怡牧师 Pastor Wang Yi摘自成都秋雨圣约教会2017年12月09日宗教改革500周年纪念讲座《宗教改革与中国文化的挑战》From the lecture "The Protestant Reformation and the Challenge of Chinese Culture" given on December 9, 2017, at Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.On December 9th, 2018, Chinese authorities arrested and jailed Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church and his wife Jiang Rong and seized their church, school, and seminary. Since then, authorities have also detained more than 300 members of their church, including children, and jailed dozens of them. On December 26th, 2019, Pastor Wang Yi was reportedly tried in a secret trial and charged with "inciting to subvert state power“ and "illegal business operations." As of December 28th, 2019, there has been no news of his sentence.
Gepostet von Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church am Samstag, 28. Dezember 2019