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Photo: BobFu4China
World News

Chinese Christian campaigner gets year in prison

Huang Yizi, who's 40 and married with two children, was sentenced in the People's Court in Pingyang County, in Zhejiang Province in eastern China.

Pastor Yizi's lawyer, Zhang Kai, claimed "the whole trial was manipulated by the authorities" and that his client would be appealing, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The preacher originally faced up to seven years in prison when he was arrested in August 2014. At the time, he said he was "grateful that God had given him the chance" to go to prison.

Hundreds of protestors gathered outside the courtroom during Huang Yizi's trial to support him.

The Chinese government has been partly or completely destroying hundreds of churches across the country in the last few years.

However Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu, the vice-chair of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), says the government has now called off its church demolishment programme.

The CCPA is the only Catholic body officially recognised by the Chinese government, however it is not recognised by the Vatican.

Only state-sanctioned churches are allowed to function in China, forcing hundreds of thousands of Christians to practise secretly.

Bob Fu, the founder of Christian advocacy group China Aid, said: "China Aid condemns this new case of religious persecution against an innocent pastor"

"Through arbitrary arrest, baseless prosecution, and illegal procedures throughout the trial, this case shows once again the worsening situation of religious freedom and rule of law in China.

"We call upon China's higher authorities to overturn this unjust decision and free Pastor Huang immediately."

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