By Erik Crouch
Image via South China Morning Post
Li Wenxi likes Jesus. A lot. Shanxi apparently does not. When Li left his position at a Christian bookstore in Beijing to bring the word of God to Shanxi, he was probably expecting a warm welcome. Or at least not be kidnapped.
Instead of being welcomed with neighborly love, Li was trapped by local security agents who insisted that he shouldn’t “dare bring Christian culture here [to Shanxi].” Police raided his store, took his books, and then took Li; he has reportedly been illegally detained for the past three months in Taiyuan.
South China Morning Post reports:
“Shanxi is one of the places where Christians are persecuted with the harshest measures,” wrote a blogger from Beijing’s Gangwashi Church. “Revenge is mine; I will repay,” he said before quoting a verse from the Bible.
The comment is interesting – given the aggressively-worded press release Taiyuan’s offcials released on their website in March. It is entitled: “Yingze District successfully clamped down on a case of Christianity.”
The article gloated about how officials raided an ‘underground’ congregation and dispelled the believers. But the story was bombarded with criticism from scholars, Christians and other bloggers after someone posted it on Weibo. The article has been withdrawn since from the government website without any explanation.
While it’s surely far from comfortable, at least Li’s time in prison hasn’t been a waste of time; according to his wife, Li says he has been rampantly converting cellmates.