Ten days after officials in China’s coastal Zhejiang province released a notice detailing the forced removal of a pastor from his position at China’s largest government-sanctioned church, the pastor was taken into custody last week and placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location.”
In addition, family members believe that the pastor’s wife, whom they have been unable to contact, was also taken into police custody.
According to a document released to China Aid on 18th January, by the local TSPM and China Christian Council (CCC), Pastor Gu “Joseph” Yuese of Hangzhou’s Chongyi Church, was forcibly removed from his position as pastor because of his public opposition to the hundreds of forced cross demolitions carried out throughout Zhejiang since early 2014.
China Aid learned of Gu’s arrest after family members and staff at Chongyi Church were unable to contact him last week. On Thursday, they received an official notice stating that Gu was placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location,” a situation commonly known by experts as a black jail. A formal arrest notice is expected to follow.
Family members told China Aid that they believe Gu’s wife, Zhou Lianmei, was also detained after the couple’s home was searched by the Hangzhou Public Security Bureau.
Gu currently serves as a member of the standing committee of the nation’s CCC, and is the current chairman of the Zhejiang Provincial CCC. He has served as the senior pastor of Chongyi Church for more than a decade.
“His arrest marks a major escalation in the crackdown against those who oppose the forced demolition of crosses,” China Aid Founder and President Bob Fu said. “He will be the highest-ranking national church leader arrested since the Cultural Revolution.”
- Pray for Pastor Gu and his wife as they are held under house arrest, a situation in China that deprives them of any contact with the outside world or with other family members. Pray that they will be comforted by the holy Spirit, protected and also have opportunities to share their faith with their guards.
- Pray for the speedy release of this couple and for many other Chinese believers who are in prison for their faith.
- Pray for protection for the Church in China, which is facing growing opposition from the government.
- Pray for Chinese believers, who often lack resources for teaching and discipleship. Pray for access to resources and for the Church to grow with a deep faith and knowledge of God’s grace and goodness.
Colossians 4 vs 3: “At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison,”
Source: http://www.chinaaid.org, http://www.persecution.org/2016