On Monday 18 September, police detained street evangelist Chen Wensheng on suspicion of “organising and financing illegal gatherings”. They placed him in the Hengdong County Detention Centre in Hengyang City. Chen Wensheng’s wife, Mo Xiaoju, received a notice of criminal detention on the same day.
Chen Wensheng was returned to Hengyang, Hunan Province, after being intercepted by the authorities at the Shanghai airport on 29 August. He intended to fly from Shanghai to Jeju Island, South Korea. Heads of the local public security, National Treasury, and the United Front Work Department called Chen one after another. Authorities claimed that the leaders of relevant departments wanted to meet with him. They purchased him a ticket on 30 August for a flight from Shanghai to Beijing, and then from Beijing to Changsha.
After returning to Hengyang on 31 August, Chen Wensheng immediately went out to Leiyang to preach the gospel. He posted on WeChat, celebrating that he was able to pray over 250 people in the previous month. “Plus,” he added, “a total of 1,817 people I led in evangelism from January to July to pray to the Lord Jesus. I thank God that I have led a total of 2,067 people to pray to the Lord Jesus this year.” Chen offered to give out some of his gospel tracts to other Christians who needed to evangelise to their families.
Police gave Chen Wensheng 15 days of administrative detention. At the end of the 15 days, he was placed in criminal detention.
Chen has become a regular ‘visitor’ at the local police station and detention centre because of his persistent evangelism for many years. On several occasions, officials detained him and threatened his family. Even behind bars, he never neglects to preach the gospel to his neighbours and guards.