Pastor in China Reportedly Arrested for Posting Information About Coronavirus Outbreak in March

Friday, May 1, 2020

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - The wife of a pastor imprisoned by Chinese authorities has said her husband was arrested for re-posting messages about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Zhang Xinghong said she was told by Chinese authorities that her husband Pastor Zhao Huaiguo has been charged with inciting subversion of state power because of these posts.

Huaiguo, the founding pastor Bethel church in Hunan province, has been in detention since March 14, ICC reports. According to ICC sources, Bethel church has been subjected to long-term harassment by Chinese authorities because Huaiguo has repeatedly refused to join with the state-approved Three-Self Patriotic church movement. Three-Self is overseen by China’s Communist Party.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Zhang Xinghong said her husband was accused of using VPN software to get past the Great Firewall and share posts on political issues, including the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

The day after her husband’s arrest, Zhang added, police officers came to the church and removed a large quantity of Biblical literature and materials, claiming they were illegal.

In regards to her own situation, Zhang told China Aid, “Recently, the state security personnel have visited me multiple times, asking me to authorize a local lawyer in Zhangjiajie to handle Zhao Huaiguo’s case. I was also asked to sign a statement, promising that I would not reveal the progress about his case to any reporter, nor publish his criminal detention notice and arrest warrant.”