China (MNN) — Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng
has disappeared yet again, Voice of the Martyrs-Canada reports.
Gao went missing on February 4, 2009 when Chinese officials
seized him from his home in Shaanxi province. He was not heard from again until he was allowed to call family members
and colleagues at the end of March.
On April 6, Gao told China Aid Association's Bob Fu that he
had been permitted to return to his apartment in Beijing. Fu reported that Gao sounded weak and
claimed to be recovering from a wracking cough.
According to witnesses, Gao left his Beijing apartment
sometime between April 9 and 12. He then arrived
at the home of his in-laws in Urumqi with an escort of four police officers,
who took him away after one night. On April
20, Gao spoke with his father-in-law on the phone shortly before boarding a
flight back to Beijing. He has not been
heard from since.
Fu confirms that Gao is "definitely in the hands of Chinese security
forces." He has concluded that international
pressure compelled Chinese authorities to prove that Gao was alive before
detaining him again so he would not reveal any information about his
On April 7, Gao told reporters he had chosen to reunite with
his wife and children rather than continuing his legal activism on behalf of Christians,
Falun Gong practitioners, and other people living under oppression. Fu said the decision was understandable.
"Gao Zhisheng is a man of integrity and heart. Facing such
enormous pressure and knowing that his family needs him, he has chosen to
fulfill his duty as a father to his children, and husband to his wife," Fu
explained. "Gao Zhisheng and his family
have suffered deeply from the long separation. Despite the persecution, he
continues to trust the Lord."
Pray for physical and spiritual protection for Gao, as he
likely faces more torture. Pray that his
persecutors will believe the Gospel. To sign a petition for Gao's release, go to www.freegao.com.