PRISONER UPDATES

Our partner Bob Fu of China Aid was able to highlight the case of Pastor Zhang Shaojie at a special meeting at the White House last month.

Zhang has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in China simply because of his Christian activities as a pastor.

Click here to read the latest on Pastor Zhang.

Bob Fu and other human rights and religious freedom activists (pictured) were invited to the White House to meet National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice to discuss the current situation in China. He and Pastor Zhang’s daughter (Zhang Huixin) were able to update the Obama administration on the pastor’s case.

Prisoner Updates
Pray for Chinese Christian lawyer Zhang Kai who was released from prison in March after being held for eight months for representing Zhejiang churches whose crosses had been removed. Last month, he gave a televised interview in which he appeared to criticise fellow lawyers arrested in China’s recent crackdown on human rights activists and lawyers. A statement later retracting that criticism appeared on Zhang’s social media feed. It said that he had been forced to smear his fellow lawyers.

Zhang’s social media account has since been deleted and the authorities are searching for him.

Our Iranian sister Maryam Naghash Zargaran has again been allowed out of jail for medical treatment: praise God! She recently went on hunger strike to demand her release because of inadequate treatment for serious health issues. Pray that she will be able to serve the rest of her four-year sentence out of prison and will receive proper medical care.

Uzbek Pastor Dmitry (David) Shestakov and his family have been granted asylum in the US. Arrested in 2007 during a raid on the Full Gospel Church in Andijan, Uzbekistan, David Shestakov was later charged, then sentenced to four years’ detention. Release International together with Voice of the Martyrs supported the Shestakov family pastorally and practically during David’s imprisonment and following his release. Release helped purchase medication and other essentials for him in prison. We pray that God will bless the family and help them settle quickly into a new life.

A long-awaited appeal against a death sentence for ‘blasphemy’ is reported to be scheduled for the second week of October for Asia Bibi, our Christian sister who is on death row in Pakistan. Asia has been in prison for seven years. Pray that she will be acquitted and set free.

Please use this month’s Prisoners of Faith Update to pray for Pastor Shaojie and  our wider prisoners of faith family across the world.

Our brothers and sisters behind bars need to know they are not forgotten: your support makes a world of difference. Thank you for your faithful prayers, gifts, letters and campaigning.

TAKE ACTION Please write to Prisoners of Faith, or to the authorities on their behalf. Download our online guides Reach Out and Speak Out for help and advice about letter-writing.

Release International supports Christian prisoners of faith prayerfully, pastorally and practically wherever they are imprisoned.

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