China (MNN) — After over a year of imprisonment for acting on his faith, human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng was finally set free. Still, persecution in China has yet to die down.
Gao was abducted by Chinese officials on February 4, 2009 and held in captivity for over a year. Petitions for his freedom were signed by thousands, and international leaders eventually pressured the government as well, recognizing the fact that Gao had done nothing more than defend the cause of Christians. (For more on Gao's arrest, click here.)
Voice of the Martyrs, Canada reports that Gao was finally released in early April. He has decided to stop his practice to reunite with his family who was forced to flee to the United States in the heat of persecution.
Although Gao's long-awaited freedom may have finally come, the persecution persists for other believers in the country.
Shen Peilan, a well-known Christian activist against government corruption, was abducted at the end of March by Chinese officials and has not been seen since. Officials from the Bureau of Letters and Petitions had raided her home twice earlier during the day of the kidnapping.
Shen's abduction came right on the heels of her unwarranted arrest that took place in early March. Shen was taken on her way to a protest against her house being destroyed by officials earlier in the year. She was held captive until church friends reported her missing, and police found and freed her.
Gao's freedom is a victory in the fight against Chinese persecution, but clearly religious freedom is still in danger. Pray that believers would continue to be bold in sharing their faith regardless. Pray that those like Shen Peilan who are on the receiving end of religious injustice would put all of their trust in the Lord and would gain back the freedoms they deserve.