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Zhang Shaojie, 49, a pastor detained in November of 2013 along with over 20 other Christians, has been charged with committing fraud and gathering a mob to disrupt public order. His criminal hearing has been scheduled for 12 February.

Pastor Zhang and his state-approved church began facing opposition from authorities after the county government reneged on an agreement to allocate a piece of land for the church to construct a new building.

The incarceration of the believers came as a surprise to many observers, as the communist government typically targets unregistered congregations.

Thankfully, by mid-January, several of the imprisoned Christians had been freed. On 24 January, three additional believers — Ms Zhao Xiping, Ms Yang Miling and Ms Sheyin Duanmu — were also released.

Sources: ChinaAid, Radio Free Asia, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Prayer Points

  • Thank the Lord for the release of these prisoners. Ask the Lord to help them overcome their ordeal and strengthen their faith.
  • Ask God to be near Pastor Zhang and his legal counsel as they prepare for his criminal hearing. Pray he will be released.
  • Pray the Lord will powerfully use believers in China to bring glory to His name.