Pastor Yang Hua of Living Stone Church in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province was transported from a local police station to the emergency room of a nearby hospital after being beaten by a government official during a May 23 interrogation regarding his travel plans, according to Voice of the Martyrs Korea.
Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, representative of Voice of the Martyrs Korea says that sources identified the official who beat and threatened Pastor Yang as the Secretary of the Central Politics and Legal Affairs Commission of Yunyan District.
“Pastor Yang had planned to visit Christians in Qingdao on May 24,” says Representative Foley. “Authorities told him he was not permitted to leave Guiyang City until July 1. When local police were unable to dissuade him from his travel plans, they reportedly seized and transported him to Zhongshan East Road Police Station under Yunyan District, Guiyang City’s Public Security Bureau, at around 11PM on May 23. While officers detained Pastor Yang in their station, sources say that the secretary of the Guiyang Yunyan District Party Committee punched and so severely injured him that an official phoned 120, the emergency phone number in China. Dispatched medical personnel then transported Pastor Yang to the hospital ER.”
Representative Foley says that sources told Voice of the Martyrs Korea that three other local authorities witnessed the attack.
“Apparently officials ordered Pastor Yang not to go to Qingdao and told him that the money for his plane ticket would be refunded to him,” said Representative Foley. “Pastor Yang insisted that he wanted to go, which sources say prompted the secretary to knock him down. The secretary then reportedly yelled, ‘Believe it or not, I can beat you to death.’ But when Pastor Yang stood back up, he said, ‘Whatever you want to do is fine. I will not fight back.’ Our sources tell us that the secretary then began to choke Pastor Yang by the neck and then slap him on his left cheek with enough force to impair his hearing. He then stormed away from the scene.”
Pastor Yang Hua of Living Stone Church in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province was detained and beaten while preparing to visit Christians in Qingdao
After EMS personnel transported Pastor Yang by ambulance to Guizhou Provincial Emergency Hospital, he logged a complaint with the Yunyan District’s Police Supervision Department, according to Representative Foley. “The attack not only left scars on Pastor Yang’s ear and neck areas, but he is reportedly also experiencing tinnitus and force-induced, physical complications. Doctors are continuing to observe him and treat him,” says Representative Foley.
In 2009, more than 500 Christians originally established Guiyang Living Stone Church. Six years later in 2015, Guiyang City government officials forcibly shut down the building where the Christians worshipped. In early 2016, CCP authorities seized the church’s property and sold it to a commercial group for approximately 5,000,000 yuan, a price much lower than its actual assessed value.
At that time, CCP officials seized Pastor Yang, formerly known as Li Guozhi, and falsely charged him with “deliberately divulging state secrets,” sentencing him to 2.5 years in prison. Authorities released him on June 19, 2018, after he had served the full term of his sentence. During Pastor Yang’s imprisonment, Wang Hongwu, his wife, publicly proclaimed that neither the CCP’s persecutions “nor attacks will shake my husband’s faith.”
“After his release, police have kept Pastor Yang under surveillance,” says Representative Foley. “Our sources say that local police intensify their surveillance on Pastor Yang on ‘sensitive’ days or whenever potential disturbances or troubles emerge. During those times, authorities have forced Pastor Yang to travel away from the area, or they have held him under house arrest. It is reportedly not unusual for 20 CCP officers to watch his place and guard his door.”
Pastor Yang Hua with his family.
Pastor Yang Hua and his wife sharing a meal with Pastor Wang Yi and his wife.
Representative Foley says that during late August in 2018, Pastor Wang Yi traveled to Guiyang to visit Pastor Yang. “As they met, they encouraged each other to ‘hold fast to the faith.’ Three months later, CCP authorities arrested Pastor Wang and imprisoned him.Yet after several years and many beatings and imprisonments, these pastors continue their vow to each other to ‘hold fast to the faith.’”
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