China: Minister An Yankui of Zion Reformed Church charged with “crossing the border illegally”

Source:                    www.ChinaAid.org

Date:                         June 17, 2022

Zhang Chenghao and Guo Juan's wedding photo
(Photo: ChinaAid source)

 

(Taiyuan, Shanxi province—June 16, 2022) Guo Juan, the wife of Zion Reformed Church coworker Zhang Chenghao, disclosed yesterday that Zhang Chenghao’s representative attorney recently met with her husband at Xiaoyi Detention Center. The attorney previously attempted multiple visits, but authorities rejected him. Over half a year has gone by since his last visit.

The attorney disclosed that Zhang Chenghao looked thinner but looked well. Zhang Chenghao said that he felt peaceful in prison but was worried about other people’s situations and concerned that his parents would be attacked by rumors and slander. His attorney also accessed the file of the case. At this point, the two Christians’ case has been handed to the court and their indictment is still “crossing the border illegally."

Shanxi Province Fenyang Municipal Bureau of Public Security criminally detained Minister An Yankui of Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church and his coworker—Zhang Chenghao— on Sunday, November 21, 2021, after the church’s Sunday service. Authorities detained both at Fangshan County Detention Center and Xiaoyi Detention Center respectively. Zhang Chenghao and Guo Juan recently got married last October, a little over a month before Zhang Chenghao was arrested. On November 24, Yao Congya, An Yankui’s wife, and Guo Juan received the detention notice issued by the Fenyang Municipal Bureau of Public Security on November 22. The notice states that An Yankui and Zhang Chenghao were criminally detained on a charge of crossing the border illegally.

On the morning of November 30, Yao Congya went with the defense attorney to Fenyang Municipal Bureau of Public Security and submitted documents, requesting to visit Minister An Yankui, but Fenyang Bureau of Public Security rejected them. 

Ministier An Yankui and his family
(Photo: ChinaAid source)

 

The two wives tried to meet their husbands multiple times in December, but authorities repeatedly denied them on the grounds of "national security" and "national secrets. They would not even let them give An and Zhang winter coats.

After their arrest, many coworkers of Taiyuan Zion Church were summoned and queried by police, and the purpose might be to intimidate them and collect evidence in order to give Minister An Yankui and Zhang Chenghao charges. This is the common approach police of mainland China use to deal with house churches. 

Yao Congya received the official arrest notice for An Yankui on December 29. Fenyang Municipal Bureau of Public Security mailed the notice, charging him with crossing the border illegally. The same day, Guo Juan also received Zhang Chenghao's arrest notice. Interestingly it was the same day that five coworkers of Zion Church were tried on a charge of “illegally crossing the border”. 

On January 16, 2022, Guo Juan—Zhang Chenghao’s wife disclosed in an open prayer request that she sued Mr. Hu a week ago, who is vice head of Lvliang National Security Branch and in charge of An Yankui and Zhang Chenghao’s case. Guo Juan alleged that Mr. Hu, vice head of the branch, is a suspect of bending the law for selfish ends and power abuse.

Yesterday, Guo Juan asked people to continue to intercede for Minister An Yankui and Christian Zhang Chenghao on independent media:

"May the Lord be glorified in the entire process and reveal His justice, the case will advance, and the attorney will be used by God to convey justice in the court. May the Lord lead Zhang Chenghao so that his heart can be steadfast in God’s grace and filled with peace and joy." 

~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Contributing Reporter

 


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