Pastor Faces Jail Time for Fighting Government Removal of Church Crosses (VIDEO)

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From IJReview: Freedom of religion has been in the news in the U.S. this week, but not every country has the freedom to debate the role of religion in society.

China has seen a recent crackdown on Christianity, especially now that the religion has become quite popular in the country. Many think it could be the world’s largest Christian nation by 2030.

One  pastor has learned the hard way the lengths the Chinese government will go toward ending the accelerated growth of Christianity.

When the government started sending in demolition teams and security forces to tear down churches, pastor Huang Yizi spoke out.

Image credit: Twitter

The destructive new policy had affected as many as 200 Christian places of worship before they came for the Salvation Church, in China’s Zhejiang region. Protestors swarmed and attempted to stop them from removing a cross. As many as 50 Christian activists were beaten.

Huang demanded answers, both for the beatings and for the consistent removal of Christian crosses from churches:

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He got his answer. Huang was arrested and charged with “gathering crowds to disturb social order,” which is a charge that is often lobbied at critics of the Chinese government:

ImageCredit: Twitter / @BrentSFulton

Zhang Kai, Huang’s lawyer, told The Telegraph that he believes his client is innocent of any wrong doing:

“As a defense lawyer and judging from the evidence so far I don’t think Huang’s actions constituted any crime,” he said.

“Personally, I believe Huang’s arrest is directly related to the general crackdown on churches in Zhejiang.”

Another lawyer involved in the case, Wang Hongjie, noted the disturbing anti-Christian trend of Chinese policy in recent months:

“The government has taken a number of steps to restrict the human rights of Christians in this region and bringing pastor Huang under criminal detention is the most extreme,” he said.

More than 500 Christians stood outside as Huang, father of two, was sentenced to a year in prison following a guilty verdict. The trial lasted only six hours.

Folks on Twitter stand with the pastor:

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Advocacy groups such as China Aid will continue to press the Chinese government for Huang’s release.

The post Pastor Faces Jail Time for Fighting Government Removal of Church Crosses appeared first on Independent Journal Review.

—Courtesy of IJ Review

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