Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: May 21, 2018
Bitter Winter has learned about the arrest of a member of the Shouters – Christians in the tradition of Chinese preachers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee that have been long targeted by the Chinese Government. After being on the list of wanted persons for two years because of his belief, Zhang Guangming (pseudonym, male, 56 years old) from the city of Yantai in Shandong Province, was arrested on December 13, 2017. His family has not been allowed to see him since.
According to Zhang’s wife, when she came home from work on the evening of Zhang’s arrest, she found that the house was in a mess, a computer was gone, and her notebook was damaged and left open. On the CCTV footage recorded by the community’s security office, she saw that at around 5 p.m., Zhang was about to drive his car away when five police officers in plain clothes got out of a black car and forced him back home. Later, they took him away.
After asking around, the woman learned that the police had been monitoring her husband for a long time. He was detained in a police station of Yantai Public Security Bureau Laishan Branch and sent to the Fushan Detention Center in Yantai the following day.
When Zhang’s wife and her son went to the detention center to visit him, the prison refused their request, telling them that no one was allowed to see him. Till now, Zhang’s family members have never seen him since his arrest. According to unconfirmed information, as of early May, Zhang was still detained in the Fushan Detention Center in Yantai.
Zhang’s wife, heartbroken, with tears running down her face, said, “In China, murder, robbery, and fraud are all lighter crimes than believing in God. We Christians do nothing wrong, we are not anti-communists or anti-socialists, but they condemn us at will and define us (the Shouters) as a cult, this is a frame-up! We have tried to hire a lawyer, but no one dared to take this case for fear of being implicated. Due to the stress, I started losing some of my memory, I constantly worry that the door is not locked up. I need to check it many times at night, so I can’t sleep well. I am also worried because my husband is too old to bear the suffering…. All I can do is – pray to the Lord, may the Lord lead him and show mercy to him.”
Zhang Guangming’s elder brother, who was a church leader of the Shouters, was arrested in April 2014 when he was preaching the gospel in the city of Binzhou. Zhang escaped the arrest since he was preaching in another town, but was put on the national wanted list and was living in hiding since then. On December 3, 2017, Zhang Guangming and his wife visited their son who lived in another town and was arrested after some days when he came home.