East Asia

Imprisoned pastor in China sues government

Yang Hua. Credit: China Aid

Li Guozhi (Also known as Yang Hua), an imprisoned house church pastor, has filed a lawsuit citing that his religious freedom has been violated and that a fine was wrongly imposed on him.

Li Guozhi was originally taken in to police custody after defending a church hard drive, he was then sentenced to two-and-a-half years for “divulging state secrets.” He was also fined alongside fellow church pastor, Su Tianfu, for a sum equivalent to $1,020,200 USD, the government claim that eh church had received this amount in “illegal income.”

Both pastors claim this money was donated voluntarily by church members and it was the church’s income, not their own.

On 10 October, Li Guozhi sued the Nanming District Religious Affairs Bureau and the Guiyang Municipal Ethnic and Religious Committee for their abuse of religious freedom. Li, quoted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, arguing that neither he, Su, nor Huoshi Church had violated any laws concerning religious freedom.