Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lawyer for churches faces secretive detention

Chinese legal adviser held for "endangering state security"
Zhang Kai, 37, a Christian lawyer with the Xinqiao Law Firm (新桥律师事务所) in Beijing. (Photo Credit: China Change)
A lawyer from Beijing who disappeared into custody faces up to six months in secretive custody. The man represented multiple Christian churches whose crosses were torn down by the Chinese government, and is charged with "assembling a crowd to disrupt social order," says his colleague Yang Xingquan.
“Christianity teaches us to submit,” Mr. Zhang said in July, according to Initium Media, a Chinese news website based in Hong Kong. “But what we ought to submit to is the Constitution and morality, not to illegal people and conduct. I have God as my backer.”
Mr. Zhang is considered one of the "most energetic legal advisers of churches in Wenzhou who has opposed government efforts to remove crosses, or demolish some churches, which officials have said violate zoning rules," says the New York Times. The churches and their supporters say the government’s real intention is to reduce the visibility and influence of the churches. Read more here.

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