Chinese Christians to appear in court Monday

( [email protected] ) Mar 13, 2004 07:06 AM EST

Three Christians will appear before a Chinese court on Monday, facing charges of “providing intelligence to overseas organizations.” The charges were brought against Liu Fenngang, Xu Yonghai and Zhang Shengqi in the Zhejiang provincial capital of Hangzhou.

A court in Hangzhou will hold a hearing Monday for the three men, who only recently received official notification of the charges against them and hired attorneys. Sources say a verdict is not likely to be announced immediately after the hearing, but days or weeks later.

“The world is watching,” said Todd Nettleton, Director of News Services for the Voice of the Martyrs. “Will these Christian men be given a fair and open trial? Is there any justice in China for those who refuse to register their religious activities with the government? These men revealed no state secrets. Their only crime is telling the world how China’s Communist government treats Christians.”

Earlier in October, police detained Liu while he was researching a crackdown on Christian groups in Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan district. In November, authorities detained Xu, a psychiatrist, and Zhang, a writer. Xu and Zhang were active members of Liu’s house church.

The Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians around the world to pray for justice for these Chinese believers.