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A Christian pastor who has been jailed in China on trumped-up charges of divulging state secrets has written to his wife that he’s grateful for the time out of his regular duties, so that he can get some rest and listen to God’s word.

The stunning perspective was documented by officials with China Aid, which works to expose religious persecution and human rights abuse in China, on Thursday.

It also supports Chinese Christians and their families when they have experienced persecution by the Chinese government.

As such, it has contact with many Chinese Christians throughout the still-repressive nation, and obtains information about the status of persecution directly from those involved.

The newest report concerns the case of a pastor at Huoshi Church who goes by the pseudonym Yang Hua.

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”

“This is a good place to rest, where I am cut off from the rest of the world and brought closer to God,” the pastor wrote from his jail cell. “I can no longer hear the clamorous noise, but can better listen to the Lord’s voice.”

He continued, “Genuine rest has nothing to do with the environment. No matter if the waves are quiet or the sea roars, our hearts rest in [God], just as a weaned child sleeps in its mother’s arms. I want to thank God for using this special method to give this special gift to our household. Let us accept and enjoy it with a thankful heart.”

The organization says the government took the pastor into custody last December after “he attempted to prevent them from confiscating one of the church’s hard drives.”

He was told he was in jail for five days for “the crime of obstruction,” and then his sentence was extended another five days.

“When his wife came to collect him on Dec. 20, she saw officials herding him into an unlicensed vehicle as he donned a black hood. Upon inquiry, she learned that his charge had changed, and that he was being transferred to criminal detention for ‘illegally possessing state secrets.’ On Jan. 22, his relatives received a notice that he had been formally arrested for ‘divulging state secrets,'” the group said.

He later told his lawyers that he was tortured by authorities, and as a result they have brought a legal action against prosecutors.

He advises, in the letter, that his wife not be “too thrifty.”

“Buy some meat, chicken and fish for our sons to eat. They are currently growing; buy some suitable snacks for them.”

He also said if she could visit once a month that would be enough.

“Do not live in weakness and confusion; this is Satan’s scheme. Be full of the Holy Spirit and leave spiritual predicaments. Seek [to fulfill] all of the Lord’s decrees. Remove all of the negative thoughts and voices from your life.”

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”

 

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