A Chinese court has sentenced one of the country’s well known Christian leaders, Wang Yi, to nine years in prison for what the government called subversion of state power and illegal business operations.
New York Times reported that Wang Yi, the pastor who founded Early Rain Covenant Church, was detained last December with more than 100 members of his congregation as part of a crackdown on churches, mosques and temples not registered with the state.
While most of Mr. Wang’s parishioners, including his wife, Jiang Rong, were eventually released, Mr. Wang never re-emerged from detention.
As part of his sentence, he will also be stripped of his political rights for three years and have 50,000 renminbi, or almost $7,200, of his assets seized, according to the statement.
Mr. Wang had become known for taking high-profile positions on politically sensitive issues, including forced abortions and the massacre that crushed the Tiananmen Square democracy movement in 1989.
A lawyer by training, Mr. Wang was a well-known blogger before converting to Christianity in 2005. Just a few months later, he was selected to meet President George W. Bush at the White House as part of a program to reach out to Chinese Christians.
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