Thursday 18 June 2009

Shi Weihan-A Modern day Apostle Paul- from Steve Mc Vey

Steve McVey writes This is the man to whom I dedicated my newest book, "Walking In the Will of God" Let's pray for our Father's intervention in this terribly painful situation for him and his family as well as respond in the ways mentioned below. See my earlier post (June 15) for more details. Statement of Defense & Christian Testimony Brought in Shi Weihan TrialDear Friend of Shi Weihan,Below is a summary of an English translation of the Statement of Defense made on behalf of Shi Weihan in the case of "Illegal Business Operations" brought against him and six others for printing and distributing bibles and Christian literature free of charge. This is now public information and we ask that you share it with as many people as possible.Part of this well written defense makes a strong testimony for the value of the Gospel being freely proclaimed in society. "First of all, in this case, the purpose of the defendant Shi Weihan in printing the Bible and other religious books is to spread the Gospel of Christ and is a conduct based on his own belief. The defendant Shi Weihan is a devout Christian. He began to believe in the Savior of his life, Jesus Christ, back in 1990 and later became a pastor. According to Christian teachings, spreading the Gospel is a great mission Jesus Christ issued after He was resurrected and ascended to heaven. He commands His believers to spread the Gospel to every corner of the earth. Therefore, the believers also regard the spreading of Gospel as their joy. During his missionary work, Shi Weihan found that many Christians lacked materials for true Christianity, and these believers are often harassed and confused by some cults. In order to cultivate the right faith in them and enhance their spiritual level, spreading the Gospel through words is the best way. That’s why Shi Weihan printed the Bibles and other religious books with money donated by other believers. In this way, the believers can enhance their spiritual life through words and understand and practice better Jesus Christ’s teachings so that they love other people as they love themselves, which is beneficial for social stability and harmony."Other points brought in the Statement of Defense:* It appeals to the right of Christians to freely practice their faith.* It appeals to the need for Christians to be able to have sufficient materials to help them protect themselves from cults that are rampant in parts of the poor countryside of China.* It appeals to the supremacy of the Chinese Constitutional guarantee of Religious Freedom and Freedom of the Press over the Procedural Regulations regarding governmental bodies given the power to deny the right to print and distribute publications deemed undesirable by them.* It makes clear the impropriety of a criminal charge for "illegal business practices" being applied to an operation where bibles and other materials are given away for free rather than for a motive of profit making.The original judge found Shi innocent of the charges on two previous occasions. The Public Security Bureau continued to hold him and press for a conviction. The Defense Statement makes it clear that a new judge assigned at the most recent hearing is the same judge who had previously held another Chinese pastor who printed and distributed bibles--Cai Zhouhua--guilty on the same charges as those brought against Shi Weihan.The lawyer who brought this brilliant defense has since faced the failure of the Chinese government to renew his license to practice law (along with 21 other attorneys who have championed human rights cases in China). Hence, he was unable to be present at Shi Weihan's sentencing. It is interesting to note that the case was delayed beyond the legally specified time alloted by Chinese law. During the delays, the lawyer's license to practice expired and the government failed to renew it, essentially preventing him from continuing Shi's defense.Now, with just nine days left to mount an appeal, the family is unable to rely on the attorney most familiar with the case. It is hoped that the family will, nonetheless appeal to the court for reasonable treatment in light of the circumstances. Friends and Christians all over the world stand in solidarity with them to appeal to the Chinese government for fair and merciful treatment for Shi and for thousands of other Christians that continue to suffer suppression of free religious expression in China.Given Shi's well-attested character and good deeds performed on behalf of many poor and disadvantaged citizens of China, it is hoped that the courts will show mercy and allow Shi to be released so that his health (he suffers from diabetes and his family has been refused in their efforts to provide him medicine) can be properly attended and his family can resume a semblance of normality in their daily lives.
You can request the "immediate release" of Shi Weihan by calling or writing the following Chinese officials:Tang LongCity of Beijing Deputy Secretary Generalof the Municipal People's GovernmentPhone: 011-86-10-62362008Liu JianchaoMinistry of Foreign AffairsDirector of Information DepartmentPhone: 011-86-10-65963342Chinese EmbassyAmbassador Zhou Wenzhong2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008Tel: (202) 328-2500Fax: (202) 495-2138
Encouraging letters can be sent to:
Shi Weihan Qinghe Detention Center of theHaidian Sub-Bureau 2585,Longgang Road, QingheTown,Haidian District, Beijing China
Shi Weihan's wifeZhang Jing, and their two daughters,Shi Jia (12) and Shi En Mei (8):3207 Jisheng Villa, West Sanqi,Haidian district, Beijing Municipality, China

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