Mystery Surrounds Jailed Chinese Christian Jiang Zhanchun

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - Concerns remained Thursday over the whereabouts of a jailed Christian in China after authorities prevented his wife from sending him money and clothes, Christian activists say. Jiang Zhanchun was arrested in China's capital Beijing last year when he and his wife discussed opportunities to be baptized with Christian leaders of a Beijing house church, according to the letter seen by Worthy News.

On September 26, he was placed under house arrest on what his friends viewed as trumped-up charges of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble," Chinese Christians said. Despite concerns about the new coronavirus pandemic, he was moved in February to a detention center, added advocacy group ChinaAid. "Because of the new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, Jiang's wife, Ma Yuzhen, has been anxious about his health," said ChinaAid on behalf of the Christian couple. The U.S.-based group confirmed that Ma visited a detention center to bring her husband's clothes and money and inquire about his health.

"Before his time in police custody, Jiang suffered from health conditions, including nasal inflammation and asthma. In the past, police also beat him and injured his waist," China Aid said in a statement. However, "Police did not give her any information on him and would not give him the clothing or the cash," ChinaAid added. There was no immediate known reaction from Chinese authorities. Like her husband, Ma was repeatedly behind bars in recent years on charges linked of advocacy on behalf of people losing lands and Christian work, Christians confirmed.

In a letter, she wrote that in one incident, she lost her freedom while breastfeeding her four-month-old baby. The child was taken from her and placed in an orphanage, Ma and Christians said. The couple, who could not continue their alcohol-brewing business due to imprisonment, has struggled to find local jobs and moved to Beijing to provide for their family.

News of their difficulties comes amid a reported government crackdown on groups and house churches that are seen by authorities as a threat to the Communist system of Chinese President Xi Jinping.