A Christian Chinese couple who has been persecuted for years by authorities for their faith is pleading with officials for one final meeting as the husband is said to be near death by medical doctors and the wife is imprisoned for "fabricated charges."
Hua Zaichen, 91, was taken to the emergency room at a Beijing hospital Wednesday after suffering from shortness of breath, according to U.S.-based rights group China Aid Association (CAA). While at the hospital, his heart stopped beating for a period of time before he was revived and stabilized. Hua is still struggling to breathe.
The doctor told his son, Pastor Hua Huiqi, to prepare for his father's death.
While Hua is facing serious health problems, his wife Shuang Shuying, 79, has been imprisoned for nearly two years and has been ill for most of that time.
The couple had cared for the poor and oppressed and allowed persecuted Christians to stay in their home, resulting in their own persecution by the Chinese government.
Their son, Pastor Hua Huiqi, angered Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB) by releasing information to the media about their threats to him and their maltreatment of his mother in prison.
As a result of Pastor Hua's effort and CAA, the case has gained international attention and CAA has launched a prayer campaign for the couple.
Wednesday night when the elder Hua was hospitalized, a PSB officer came to check whether he was still alive. Authorities are reportedly fearful that they would be blamed for Hua's death because of the international media attention given to the case.
Pastor Hua thanks people around the world who have been praying for his father, saying, "No wonder we saw this miracle last night after the death valley," he said, referring to when his father came back to life after his heart stopped. "We felt the reality of the prayers from caring brothers and sisters."
CAA and Pastor Hua urge the international community to press authorities to immediately release Shuang Shuying so she can see her husband before he dies.