2. Manping Ouyang — Christian (China)
Ouyang is the wife of Pastor Su Tianfu from the evangelical house church founded in 2009 called Living Stone Church in Guiyang.
She told reporters through a translator at the ministerial that the government considers the church illegal because it's not registered with a state-recognized denomination. In December 2015, local authorities seized the church's assets and auctioned off its property. She added that the church was “illegally banned” by China's communist government.
“All of our spiritual literature in our church, including Bibles were confiscated,” she said through a translator. “Many of our brothers and sisters were put under house arrest, detained and some were even sentenced to imprisonment.”
In 2017, Ouyang’s husband was sentenced to one year of prison with two years reprieve while the church’s other Pastor, Yang Hua, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after being charged with receiving “illegal income” from church donations.
“The government even put a heavy fine to our church, which is the equivalent of over $1 million,” she said.
Ouyang said that the Chinese government didn’t cite any law to justify its actions against the church.
“We were told we were not registered by joining the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement,” she said, adding that Pastor Yang Hua and her husband were charged with “leaking state secrets.”
As several underground churches in China have been shut down by the communist government and countless Christians arrested in connection with those churches, Ouyang called on people in the U.S. to pray for China and urge the Chinese government to stop its persecution of Christians and religious minorities.