Contact: Katherine Cason, 267-210-8278, Katherine@ChinaAid.org; Washington, D.C. Contact: Jenny McCloy, 202-213-0506, Jenny@ChinaAid.org; both with ChinaAid; www.ChinaAid.org, www.MonitorChina.org
XINJIANG, China, Dec. 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- Pastor Lou Yuanqi of Uygur Autonomous Region faces trial December 15, charged with "suspicion of utilizing superstition to undermine the law" because he met with house church Christians in his home.
Pastor Lou was first detained on May 17, 2008 at 1 p.m. in Qingshuihe town, Huocheng county of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. At 11:30 p.m. the same day, Pastor Lou was transferred to Huocheng County Detention Center. He was originally detained on "inciting secession of the state," which is a serious political charge. Sources told ChinaAid that the authorities made the charge very serious because they were angry that Pastor Lou had disclosed information about being beaten in prison.
During a previous arrest on Christmas Eve 2006, Pastor Lou was badly beaten during the night by inmates at the detention center. He was injured so severely, prison officials took him to the hospital for emergency treatment. After Pastor Lou's release, a government official, posing as a journalist, called and interviewed him about his time in prison. A short time later, police arrested Pastor Lou, saying that discussing his prison experience was a crime against the state.
The charge was eventually changed to "suspicion of utilizing superstition to undermine the law" and Pastor Lou's trial was scheduled for November 18, 2008. However, the trial was rescheduled suddenly after ChinaAid published his trial date. His attorney, Li Dunyong from Gong Xin Law Firm of Beijing, has regularly been refused meetings with Pastor Lou.
This is Pastor Lou's fourth time in prison for his faith: He was imprisoned September 9, 2001 for 15 days, in January 2006 for one month and in December 2007 for a month and one week. This is the first time Pastor Lou has been detained under criminal detention, and it is likely he will face a serious indictment in court. A long sentence could lead to significant health problems for Pastor Lou, because he suffers from hepatitis B.
Pastor Lou's wife, Wang Wenxiu, recently spoke with friends of ChinaAid. She said their two daughters and son are standing firm in their faith, despite the hardship. "In the beginning, they were not use to this shame. But now they realize their dad is not suffering for himself or any crime, but for the Lord Jesus Christ. One daughter is even in full-time ministry now."
Pastor Lou's family and church continue to meet despite Pastor Lou's imprisonment. When told that Christians around the world were praying for their family, Wang asked friends to pass on this message to the international community: "Please thank them for us because this [imprisonment of Pastor Lou] is God's best will. It is His promise. It is the grace of the Lord. How could we be worthy of awakening so many brothers and sisters' prayers for us? ... I am very joyful and full of gratitude for all of the prayer support. "
View the following legal documents for Pastor Lou:
Write an encouraging letter to Pastor Lou Yuanqi in prison:
Pastor Lou Yuanqi, Huocheng County Detention Center, Yili City, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China
Communicate your concern to the Chinese government on Pastor Lou's behalf:
Cell Phone numbers in Huocheng PSB office:
• Director of Police: Mr. Wang Keqiang +86- 13909999156
• Director of Domestic Security Protection: Mr. Di Li Xia Ti +86-13519980871
• Deputy Director of Domestic Security Protection: Mr. Li Gang +86-15894-181-855 or +86-13899703878
• Director of Detention Center: Mr. Jiao Feng +86-13909991370
• Deputy Director of Detention Center: Mr. Sun Baoliang +86-13031375159
Ms. Wu Aiying, minister of Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China
Address: No. 10, Nan Da Jie, Chaoyangmen, Beijing City (Zip Code: 100020)