Gao Heng asked to commemorate Tiananmen with prayer and repentance. He was told this is a criminal offense in China.
by Qi Junzao
Christian lawyer Wen Yu has been allowed to meet in jail Gao Heng, and to pray with him. Wen said Gao is in good health and spirit. He has been detained for something he did on June 4, the anniversary of Tiananmen.
Commemorations of the Tiananmen massacre are forbidden in China, but what about prayer?
“Although all social suffering is often attributed to the ugliness of the system and politics, at its root, however, it always stems from the deep-rooted sinfulness in the hearts of people. In terms of this sinfulness, we are not fundamentally different from the deciders, commanders, and executors of the massacre. We thank the Lord that, although we are all sinners, we have received freely grace from God, repented and confessed our sins, accepted Jesus as Lord, and thus became children of God.” This is the comment Gao Heng, a lay leader of the Bible Reformed Church in Guangzhou posted on Weibo on June 4. He also stood at a subway station of Metro Line 2 in Guangzhou holding a sign “June 4, Pray for the Country.”
Brother Gao insisted that he wanted to remember June 4 by calling to prayer and repentance, rather than political criticism. He was told by the police that this is also forbidden in China, arrested at the subway station, and detained in Guangzhou Second Detention Center.
It is unclear whether authorities realized that the words Gao posted on Weibo were from the “Chinese Christians’ 2009 Declaration on the 20th Anniversary of the June 4 Massacre,” whose main drafter was the now imprisoned Pastor Wang Yi from Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu.
The 37-year-old Brother Gao is well-known as a Christian lay leader and activist in Guangzhou. He was part of a team of the Bible Reformed Church that assisted those in need during the COVID-19 crisis in Nanpu Island, located in the Panyu district of the prefecture-level city of Guangzhou, in Guangdong province.
Gao got in trouble before for holding a sign calling for “respecting life” and “opposing abortion” on June 1, 2020, Children’s Day.