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Published On: Tue, Oct 15th, 2019

Pastor Li Juncai jailed after fighting against China’s demand to remove cross from Zhongxin Church in Xinxiang

Pastor Li Juncai, along with three staff from Zhongxin Church in Xinxiang County, Henan, was criminally detained by local authorities on February 20, after having firmly resisted the cross removal at their church. He’s been jailed for over eight months, and his lawyer said that he might face trial in about 45 days.

While his church was once part of the Three-Self church, it withdrew its affiliation in 2013. When the government began removing crosses across the province, Pastor Li repeatedly refused to allow the officials to destroy his church’s cross. He also stood against the proposal to install a flag-raising platform while replacing the sign “Love God Love People” to “Love [Your] Country Love [Your] Religion” at his church.

A day after their arrest, the cross was removed, the “Love God Love People” sign wiped out, and the national flag was flying high at his church. Pastor Li and his coworkers were charged with “disrupting public service,” yet only he remains incarcerated. Two more charges on embezzlement and dispose of account statement were later added to Li’s case.

According to China Aid, his son Li Chao said, “Initially my dad was not allowed to see his lawyer. But after multiple negotiation, he finally got to see his lawyer.” Pastor Li’s case has already been returned to Public Security Bureau for supplemental examination twice and finally made it to People’s Procuratorate for review and prosecution stage.

Based on the lawyer’s assessment, Li’s case could be reviewed by the court as early as within one and a half month. Someone who is familiar with the case stated that the evidence for these three cases is lacking, yet the authorities want to accuse him with other charges.

During his detention, Pastor Li has been successful in spreading the gospel within the cell – three people have accepted Christ, including a Muslim.

ICC

Chinese flag, Beijing, China. 2009 Photo/Daderot

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