Nanle County, Henan — When Nanle County Christian Church pastor, Zhang Shaojie, was sentenced for his fabricated crimes of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” and fraud, he was ordered to pay a fine of 700,000 yuan (US $114,000) in addition to serving 12 years in prison. Thursday night, the Nanle County government issued a public notice stating that, because of Zhang’s failure to pay the fine, his home would be auctioned off, leaving his family homeless.
Zhang’s family, including his 80-year-old father, Zhang Wenqiang, 78-year-old mother, disabled wife, youngest daughter, and son-in-law, who is a Malaysian citizen, wasn’t informed of their impending homelessness until Friday morning when they left their home to attend a worship service. Buildings throughout their village were plastered with the public notice, translated below, which stated that the family must move out by Sunday, Oct. 26.
Family members told China Aid that Zhang Shaojie has been repeatedly pressured by prison officials to admit his guilt and call off any petitioning his family may do on his part. The family believes that officials may be using the threat of selling his family’s home to get Zhang Shaojie to confess his guilt.