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China: Two Christian Leaders Charged with ‘Organizing a Cult’

For background on Orthodox Christianity in China, see here.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“Two House Church Leaders Charged with ‘Organizing a Cult,’” China Aid, June 8, 2023:

(Nanchang, Jiangxi province—June 8, 2023) On May 12, the verdict was announced for Elder Zhisheng Pan and Hua Huang of the Nanchang Christian Assembly. Authorities charged them both with obstruction of justice by organizing and utilizing a religious cult.

SENTENCING
The presiding judge sentenced Elder Zhisheng Pan to three and a half years with a 30,000 RMB (~$4,200) fine. On the other hand, Hua Huang was given a sentence of three years and three months and a 25,000 RMB (~$3,500) fine.

GUILTY OF LEADING
The indictment did not charge Elder Zhisheng Pan and Hua Huang with any heinous crimes, such as defrauding money or anything violent. Instead, the only thing they were guilty of was leading a 100-member congregation.

PLEADING INNOCENCE
Elder Zhisheng Pan and Hua Huang tried their best to defend themselves in court, claiming they taught biblical teachings. Specifically, they taught what was handed down from Watchman Nee and Changshou Lee. They were not a cult, and they did not do anything illegal.

BACKGROUND
On March 7, 2021, public security officials caught Hua Huang as he organized a meeting of 14 believers in Changbei District. Authorities confiscated 375 books on the spot. In the aftermath, several congregations of the Nanchang Christian Assembly were raided, and both men were taken away for questioning. Hua was detained for fifteen days last March. He was suspected of using a cult to undermine the implementation of the law. In April, public security agents listed that 204 of the seized books, including “Life Bible Reading” and “Bible Recovery Version,” were propaganda materials….

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