A human rights lawyer in China who has been detained since 2014 sent a message to his wife to gather people to pray not for his release but for the gospel to spread.
The lawyer’s wife, Mrs. Wong, shared her and her husband’s experiences in an interview with Voice of the Martyrs radio. VOM is an international, interdenominational organization that helps persecuted Christians globally.
Mrs. Wong said that as a human rights lawyer, her husband represented Christian clients who were being prosecuted by the state. Although he never stirred up the people against the government but merely performed his job to defend his clients’ rights and freedom of speech, the government considered him a threat, she said.
The fact that he also shared the gospel to others made the authorities notice him. According to Mrs. Wong, her husband’s “double identity”—being a human rights lawyer and a member of the church at the same time—caused the authorities alarm.
The government, she said, was particularly watchful of people gathering together, such as the church.
Mrs. Wong’s husband was taken into custody and charged with “inciting subversion of state power.” On May 30, 2014, he was handed a five-year sentence for his alleged crime.
The authorities did not allow Mrs. Wong to visit her husband in prison. She only saw him at the trial. It would be more than two years before they permitted her to see him, and only for a brief moment.
“The first time I was allowed to visit him was August 2016,” Mrs. Wong said. ”Only 30 minutes.”
There was glass between them, she described. Three guards stood behind her back while four guards stood behind her husband.
Mrs. Wong said they were only allowed to talk about certain topics.
“They made us sign an agreement. We cannot talk about his job, anything related to his job,” she said.
If they would cross the line and discuss prohibited topics, they would not be allowed to see each other again, she said.
When she first saw him after two years, he looked a bit physically weak, but “his spirit is good.”
She saw him again on October 2016. That was the last time she had seen him so far.
She said her husband sent a message to her through his lawyer, giving her instructions for prayer. However, he did not ask her to pray for him. Instead, he asked her to pray for people so the gospel would spread more and the church would multiply.
“He passed a message through his lawyer to tell me to pray … pray for five to six people, and ask those to pray for another five to six people to spread the gospel,” Mrs. Wong said.
At the time of the interview, Mrs. Wong was in the U.S. to let people know about her husband’s case. She said she was not afraid of speaking publicly about her and her husband’s experiences while she was there. However, she did think about what the government could do to her and her family once she got back to China.
She admitted there were times when she felt alone in the battle. During such times, she could relate to that moment when Jesus cried out to God, asking why His Father had forsaken Him.
Yet, Jesus’ words in Matthew 16, where he tells his disciples to take up their cross and follow Him, encouraged her.
She also found solace in Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
This assured her that God is in control.
Mrs. Wong asked the radio listeners to pray for her and her husband.
“I’d like to request you all, pray for my husband, for his protection and his encouragement,” she said. “For me, pray for my peace in China so I will not get any harm or be threatened by the government.”
Finally, she asked the listeners to pray for China.
“Please pray for the Chinese, all the Chinese people to repent and turn to God and believe in Jesus Christ,” she said.