TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan — A Presbyterian church in Taiwan organized an August prayer service for a Christian human rights lawyer imprisoned by China’s communist government.
Human rights group International Christian Concern reported Jinan Presbyterian Church organized the service for attorney Gao Zhisheng. In his longtime practice, Gao represented Christians, coal miners and farmers. He also assisted the Falun Gong, a group that combines the religious practices of Buddhism and Taoism and is scrutinized by the Chinese Communist Party.
Gao was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Having been detained more than once, he sometimes suffered emotional and physical abuse. After his release in 2014, he was under close scrutiny and subsequently had to move to a different Chinese province, according to a report from the human rights organization China Aid.
Gao was rearrested in 2017. Imprisoned five years in an unknown location, he has not seen his children in more than a decade.
China is No. 17 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.