A megachurch pastor in China’s Shanghai region has been released after seven years in prison for protesting against the demolition of a house church.
On September 13, 2009, local government officials in Lenfi, broke into Christian churches and businesses in the area, beating approximately 100 believers. Days later, the government dispatched bulldozers to destroy multiple buildings and other church property.
Pastor Yang Rongli and her husband, Wang Xiaoguang were arrested shortly following these events for protesting the demolition of a house church. Two months later, they were convicted for organizing a prayer rally on September 14. They were presented in court under charges for “gathering a mob to disturb public order.”
A report from China Aid, a watchdog group that reports on Christian persecution in China, confirms that Pastor Rongli has been released and bears signs of brutality endured while held captive. She shows signs of malnutrition and has suffered from two kidney stones, diabetes, and a heart problem in jail.
Due to continued government restrictions against her, Yang is not able to provide interviews or speak to the media at this time.