Pastor Zhang Shaojie of Nanle County Christian Church in Henan Province, is currently serving a 12-year prison term for “gathering a crowd to disrupt the public order” and a fabricated fraud charge.
Pastor Zhang was initially detained on Nov. 16, 2013, when authorities asked to meet with him at his church. Instead, authorities bound Zhang, who served as the local head of the China Christian Council and Three-Self Patriotic Movement, and took him into custody.
In the week around Zhang’s detention, authorities detain more than 20 church members, related to a land dispute between the church and the Nanle county government. Zhang’s daughter, her husband and their baby fled the area to avoid arrest, and she later told China Aid that she’d received more than 10 threatening phone calls. Callers threatened to “wipe out her entire family” if she continued to speak out about the church.
Zhang was sentenced to 12 years in prison on July 4, 2014, and his August appeal to a higher court was rejected. Zhang was 49 when he was arrested.
Zhang Shaojie was transferred to another prison in January 2021. According to an official letter received by his sister, Zhang Shaojie will spend the next two months in “concentrated education” at the Zhengzhou City prison. After the initial two-month period, prisoners are allowed one family visit per month.
Pastor Zhang’s daughter said that the prison was having him take a small white pill daily. During a prison visit, his family tried to convince him not to take the pill, but he said the prison doctor told him it was for high blood pressure. Zhang’s family members noticed Pastor Zhang’s mental state was failing and that his personality had drastically changed during their last prison visitation.
Zhang Shaojie still has five years left in his 12-year prison sentence.
Click the button above to print Scripture verses in the prisoner’s language. You can cut and paste them to your letter.
Xinmi Prison of Zhengzhou, Henan Province
P O Box 841
Xinmi Post, No. 61, Songshan Avenue East
Xinmi City, Henan Province