|Huang Yizi...Photo: Telegraph|
A Chinese pastor who is facing seven years in prison after falling foul of a Communist Party crackdown on the country's rapidly growing Christian community has told his lawyer he is "grateful that God has given him the chance" to go to jail, Telegraph UK reported.
Huang Yizi, a 40-year-old preacher who had spoken out against a demolition campaign being waged against Chinese churches, is currently awaiting trial in a detention centre in Wenzhou, a city in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
He was detained in early August and formally arrested at the end of that month for allegedly "gathering crowds to disturb social order" – a charge often used to silence government critics and which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
Activists believe Pastor Huang is being punished for daring to criticise an ongoing "anti-church" campaign that has seen scores of places of worship in Zhejiang face partial or complete destruction this year.