China: Pastor of official church sentenced

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - The pastor of an official church in Zhejiang Province was sentenced after he dared to criticize Communist authorities about China's ongoing demolition of church crosses.

According to Morning Star News, Pastor Bao Guohua of the Holy Love Christian Church in Jinhua received a prison sentence of 14 years while his wife was sentenced to 12 after both were convicted of "corruption, financial crimes and gathering people to disturb social order." The court reportedly ordered 600,000 renminbi (US$92,000) confiscated from each along with separate fines of about $15,000 (US).

Nine other members of Holy Love's staff were also convicted, but they received lesser sentences.

Bao is one of eight detained pastors belonging to China's official Three-Self Patriotic Movement. The Communist government also brought formal charges against 20 human rights lawyers who had worked to stop China's cross removal campaign in Zhejiang.