Beliefnet News

Pastor Shi Enhao, the deputy chairman of the Chinese House Church Alliance, has been sentenced to a two-year stay in a Chinese labor camp under the accusation of holding “illegal meetings and illegal organizing of venues for religious meetings.”

Recent a number of members of the alliance petitioned China’s national congress to desist in its three-month campaign against the 1,000-member Shouwang Church of Beijing. Its leadership is under house arrest, members are routinely rounded up, fired from their jobs and evicted from their homes.

Pastor Shi’s sentence is “extra-judicial” — without benefit of a court hearing — and didn’t require police to wait for a trial or criminal conviction before they implemented it, according to the New York-based China Aid Association.

Pastor Shi, 55, was detained by Suqian City police, in the Jiangsu province, for 12 days beginning May 31. He was criminally detained by the Suqian Public Security Bureau on June 21, which China Aid says is the “first step in a legal process that almost inevitably leads to a prison sentence.”

“It’s kind of anticipated persecution, but not to the degree that he was treated,” said Bob Fu, China Aid president.

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