Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Date: May 17, 2018
Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that after a trial on 26 April, Pastor Su Tianfu from Living Stone Church in Guizhou Province was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years, and six months’ residential surveillance. Despite several appeals, Pastor Su and the church’s other pastor, Yang Hua, have been also fined over $1 million for collecting “illegal” donations from the congregation.
Pastor Su has been under house arrest since December 2015, while Pastor Yang Hua was placed under criminal detention in December 2015 and sentenced to two and a half years in prison a year later.
Last week, in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, authorities detained or removed over 200 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church to prevent them from holding a memorial service for victims of the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008. Among them was Pastor Wang Yi – an outspoken critic of the government’s policy towards unregistered or independent churches.
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Bitter Winter plans to report on how religions are allowed, or not allowed, to operate in China and how some are severely persecuted after they are labeled as “xie jiao,” or heterodox teachings. We plan to publish news difficult to find elsewhere, analyses, and debates.
Placed under the editorship of Massimo Introvigne, one of the most well-known scholars of religion internationally, “Bitter Winter” is a cooperative enterprise by scholars, human rights activists, and members of religious organizations persecuted in China (some of them have elected, for obvious reasons, to remain anonymous).