CHINA: EVANGELIST IS FIRST 2021 DETAINEE, FOR NEW YEARS EVE PREACHING
On January 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Zhengxiang Branch of Hengyang Municipal Police Department issued its first 2021 penalty—ordering the detainment of Christian street evangelist Chen Wensheng for 10 days for preaching the gospel on New Year's Eve.
“Evangelist Chen Wensheng was Christian ‘Detainee No. 0001’ for 2021,” said Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley. “The document, from the Zhengxiang Branch of Public Security Bureau of Hengyang City, states that Chen Wensheng and his associate, Zhou Long, spread the message of Christianity at two places, through broadcast and flyers on New Year’s Eve. The report alleges that the preaching caused ‘terrible social effect, disrupting the social order’.” Representative Foley says that the two were arrested by police and sentenced to administrative detention for 10 days.
This is not the first arrest for “Street Preacher Chen”. “Police have arrested and detained him repeatedly, with his last 10-day detention starting August 3,” said Representative Foley. “But Street Preacher Chen continues to proclaim the gospel on the streets of Hengyang. He is passionate about spreading the gospel, sometimes alone, at times with others, as he regularly preaches on streets throughout the busy city.” Representative Foley notes that the evangelist often holds a cross with the inscription: “Glorify the Lord. Repent, Trust, and Be Redeemed.”
“During the pandemic, Street Preacher Chen has continued to preach the gospel,” says Representative Foley. “He distributes masks, Bibles, and gospel tracts to people on the streets. When police arrest him, he says with a smile, ‘Jesus loves you, God bless you… I will go with you.’ At the police station, Evangelist Chen always urges the police officers to believe in Jesus. When police officers release him from detention, Street Preacher Cheng thanks them and blesses them.”
Yan Police (State) Document (2021) No.0001. The document, from the Zhengxiang Branch of Public Security Bureau of Hengyang City, states that Chen Wensheng and Zhou Long spread the message of Christianity at two places through broadcast and flyers on 12.31.2020, which caused “terrible social effect, disrupting the social order”. They were arrested by police and sentenced to administrative detention for 10 days.
Chinese street evangelist Chen Wensheng. The street evangelist often holds a cross with the inscription: “Glorify the Lord. Repent, Trust, and Be Redeemed.”
Representative Foley says that although Communist Party authorities repeatedly warn and threaten that they will arrest and detain him again if he continues to preach on the streets of Hengyang, Street Preacher Chen does not intend to give up holding his street evangelical events. “Even if one day he is sentenced to prison, he has determined to still proclaim the gospel there,” says Representative Foley.
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