The former drug addict and popular character among Chinese Christians is in jail again in Hunan. He has been detained more than 100 times.
by Mo Yuan
I personally know Chen Wensheng and wrote about him in “Bitter Winter” last year. He is a larger-than-life character who is well-known among Chinese Christians.
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 broadcast Chen’s story internationally in 2021, claimed he had been detained or arrested more than 100 times. His relatives have also been constantly harassed and threatened.
“Bitter Winter” readers left him in 2022 after he had been arrested once again on March 5 while preaching in the streets of Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan. His saga did not end there.
He escaped with “only” an administrative detention and was released on March 26. As all those who know him might have predicted, no sooner was he out of jail than he started preaching in the streets again. The Hunan public security called his relatives and told them that they would all ruin their lives and lose their jobs or compromise the education of their children if Chen would not stop preaching. But he didn’t.
On September 3, he was placed again in administrative detention in Hengyang City, Hunan. He should have been released on September 17, but instead the authorities escalated the charge to “organizing and financing illegal gatherings,” which is a matter for criminal rather than administrative detention.