His would be an extraordinary inspiring story in a free country. In China, it is a litany of harassment and arrests.
by Mo Yuan
On March 5, 2022, Chen Wensheng was arrested by the Hengyang police while preaching on the streets of Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan.
It is not the first time Chen, a popular character among Chinese house church Christians, is arrested.
Mirroring famous stories of Gospel heroes many Chinese Christians know only from books, Chen is a former drug addict who struggled with his addiction problems for ten years. He overcame them when he converted to Christianity, and then decided to share his experience with others by becoming a street preacher.
He traveled with a cross carrying Christian messages throughout various Chinese provinces and even, with some co-workers, to Vietnam, where he was arrested and deported back to China.
ChinaAid, which deserves credit for having broadcasted Chen’s story internationally in 2021, claimed he had been seized or arrested more than 100 times. His relatives, including his old mother who sometimes evangelized in the streets with him, have also been constantly harassed and threatened.
Now, we have learned that the Hengyang police, who has kept him under constant surveillance for years, has arrested him again.