The wife of a Chinese Christian psychiatrist has sent an appeal to Christians worldwide to pray for her husband, who was arrested unjustly, and demand his release.
Dr. Xu Yonghai, an evangelical Christian psychiatrist, was arrested in Beijing Nov. 9 and accused being linked to 43-year-old Liu Fenggang, the head of an underground house church, reported the Rome-based missionary agency AsiaNews.
Fenggang was arrested in Hangzhou while visiting leaders of some house churches, which had been destroyed, and accused of spreading information of their destruction, which was considered a “state secret”. He has been detained in prison since Oct. 13.
At the end of November, Yonghai was transferred to Xiaoshan (Zhejiang), where he is now detained. His wife has written an open letter to Christians around the world, urging them to pray for her husband and demand his liberation.
In her letter, she said her husband has been a Christian for many years. “Since the day I met him and until the day he was arrested, he has been spreading the Gospel. In addition to his professional job as a doctor, he dedicated all his time to the Lord,” she wrote.
“He shares the Gospel with everyone he meets and has dedicated his only home (only 10 square meters) as a house church. By God's grace, many people have come to know their faith in that house.
“Even in the midst of persecutions, he has always trusted Christ and our meetings continued until the government violently destroyed our house,” she said.
According to Hong Kong’s Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, the police have destroyed at least 10 house churches since July. A total of 392 churches and temples of other religions have been either destroyed or reused as “entertainment centers”. The Chinese government permits worship only in official locales registered and controlled by the Office of Religious Affairs.
“My husband is a good believer and a good doctor. He has been able to bring the love of Christ our Lord to everyone he met,” she continued. “He was raised in an ordinary family and always dedicated himself in service of others. Wherever there was injustice, you could find his shadow. He is an exemplary social activist.
“His arrest today is a great irony to social injustice. I am convinced that my husband is innocent and maintain he has committed no crime. I beg the Chinese government to release my husband,” she wrote. “I plead with my brothers and sisters in the Lord to pray for their brother Xu. Pray so that the Lord will protect him in peace. Pray so that he will return back home peacefully as soon as possible.”
The letter was made available to AsiaNews by China Aid Association, a Protestant organization battling for religious freedom in China.