Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Elder Zhang’s lawyer visits him in prison – May 29th

Church in Chains, May 21, 2024 (excerpts)

Elder Zhang Chunlei (60) has been in detention in China since March 2021 for “fraud and inciting subversion of state power” but the court’s verdict was never announced, and his defence lawyer has been denied access to the case files.

In early May Elder Zhang’s lawyer visited him at the Guiyang City Detention Centre.  In his conversation with the lawyer Elder Zhang reflected very honestly on his past attitude as a pastor.  He has come to realise that “Serving the church is not the same as running a business.”  He described himself as “completely corrupt” and said that if a person lacks love, they lack an understanding of grace; they have received grace themselves but are legalistic towards others. If love is lacking, it is because prayer is lacking, and there is a problem with the relationship with the Lord. Fortunately, there is God, otherwise he would only be left with guilt.

He said loving someone and praying for them is better than any gift, adding that now he often prays by name for congregation members and co-workers. He said he is an impatient person and that being able to endure these three years of imprisonment involves the work of the Holy Spirit. If he can get out of the prison a little earlier he will be grateful; if he gets out a little later, he will also be grateful, but he hopes it will not be delayed.

His lawyer concluded, “Elder Zhang is not only a suffering saint, but also an increasingly mature and humble pastor.”