Another Chinese Pastor Jailed for Leading His Flock

Human rights are not an option for these Chinese people who seek and serve Jesus Christ.
by Allie Martin

(AgapePress) - The leader of a house church in China has been sentenced to 18 months hard labor. Voice of the Martyrs is accusing the Chinese government of violating his religious freedoms.

In December, Public Security Bureau officers arrested house church leader Phillip Xu for leading a service. Now he has been sentenced to 18 months of "re-education through labor."

Todd Nettleton is a spokesman with Voice of the Martyrs. He says Pastor Xu's religious freedom has been violated, and that he is likely facing inhumane treatment and conditions.

"Once we have started to pray, we can contact the Chinese embassy," Nettleton suggests. "We are encouraging Christians in America to make an inquiry on behalf of Pastor Xu, asking why this is happening to this pastor. The Chinese constitution guarantees religious freedom, yet here is a religious leader who has been put in prison for his activities."

Nettleton explains that the conditions under which Xu is being held are probably worse than can be imagined by the average American. "This is 12 hours a day of work, very minimal food, maybe a bowl of rice in the morning and a bowl of rice in the evening, and being forced to work to meet some kind of a quota," he says.

"We've had reports of prisoners being forced to do some kind of intricate labor, like wiring Christmas lights, and being forced to do so without their glasses. And yet they're forced to maintain a standard to meet a quota every day."

Pastor Xu studied in the United States in the 1980s and could have stayed in the U.S. However, he chose to return to China to minister in the unregistered church movement there.

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