China (MNN) — Today, a closed-door trial is being held for pastor Zhang Zhongxin.
Zhongxin was arrested July 6 for what the government called participation in an "evil cult." This included such things as organizing training for Sunday schools,
preaching the Gospel and training pastors. Zhongxin's wife submitted the appeal in July on behalf of her husband when he was arrested.
Adele Konyndyk with
Voice of the Martyrs Canada explained: "Basically what will happen at this trial is they'll decide whether or not this is an appropriate punishment for
Pastor Zhang. And if they do decide that it is, he'll face a two-year sentence, being in prison for two years in this labor camp until 2010."
The camp is considered to be a process of re-education through labor. If he is found innocent, the sentence will be repealed.
Neither Zhongxin's relatives nor attorneys have been permitted to meet with him as he is being considered a threat to state security. Konyndyk said there is likely
another reason that this is a closed-door trial. "Of course, if the public (or even his family) doesn't know what has gone on, they can't necessarily protest it or accuse
the government of any kind of malpractice or anything like that, because nobody will quite know or have any proof of what has gone on here. So I would think it was a control issue."
Pray that "no matter what the outcome–even if pastor Zhang does have to stay in the labor camp for two years–that the Lord will be with him, make him strong and allow him to also live as a testament to his faith and God's work in his life, no matter where he is," Konyndyk said.
Earlier this month, Pastor Zhang "Bike" Mingxuanwas released after a petition was signed by 57,000 believers. It was an encouragement to Chinese Christians. Pray that this would be the case for pastor Zhongxin as well.