House church pastor Geng Zejun was sentenced to eleven months in prison at the end of a seven-hour-long trial on 13 July.
Pastor Geng was not present at Huinong District Court in Ningxia Autonomous Region in northern China for the trial, which was conducted by video link. He was charged with “organising illegal gatherings” and had resisted pressure from the authorities to plead guilty to the charge.
Geng Zejun was first arrested on Sunday 5 December 2021 when police raided The Church of the Rock (also known as Pansi house church) as it was meeting together. The Church of the Rock is known for its reformed theology and has consistently refused to join the government-approved Three Self Patriotic Movement church. He has been held in custody since 25 January.
Hao Ying, Pastor Geng’s wife, was grateful to some church members who met with her on the day of the trial. As she did in the days leading up to the trial, she again asked for the prayers of fellow-Christians in the wake of the court verdict, saying: “Thank you all for your prayers, and I implore you to raise your hands together and ask the Lord to strengthen Brother Geng, make him strong and courageous, and filled with the glory of God.”
Image: China Aid