China (MNN) — After a yearlong imprisonment, Pastor Lou Yuanqi has finally been released, according to a China Aid Association news release.
Pastor Lou was arrested on May 17, 2008. China Aid reports that he was charged for "utilizing superstition to undermine the law," which appears to have been an excuse for the government to shut down the church that met in Lou's house.
Although he has been allowed to return home now, Lou is only under a "bailed out waiting for trial" policy, which heightens concern that he may be arrested again in the future.
Pastor Lou and his family are currently in a vulnerable state. Lou contracted Hepatitis B in prison, where he suffered a great deal physically. His family is also at risk; his daughter was beaten by police officials after trying to speak to her father during his initial arrest.
In the meantime, two more believers from the same area remain in prison under similar charges. Alimujiang Yimti was arrested over a year ago on February 20, 2008, essentially for witnessing to the Uyghur people, sources tell China Aid. Alumujiang had not been seen since March 31 (at which point he was being escorted by police into a hospital) until recently, when he was able to meet with an attorney. He told his lawyer he was not permitted to speak about his health.
Wusiman Yiming is currently living in a work camp under a two-year sentence that began September 2007. Wusiman was a leader in a local church and was arrested for "illegal proselytizing," says China Aid. The work camp has been detrimental to his health.
Please pray for all of these faithful believers. Thank God that Pastor Lou was released. Pray that he and his family would be protected. Pray that the other two men would be released and would be able to continue their ministries.
Continue to pray for the spiritual state of China and for the millions of believers who live there to be free to worship and share their faith.
To contact Chinese government officials to thank them for Pastor Lou's release and politely request the release of Alimujiang and Wusiman, click here.