Family asks China to free ailing preacher

BEIJING — Charismatic preacher Gong Shengliang led a popular Christian group that spiraled into violence under persecution by Chinese authorities and the temptations of power. Now Gong has suffered an apparent stroke in prison, and his family members are calling for his release.

In an open letter, family members of the 60-year-old Gong said prison authorities rebuffed a request that he be given medical parole.


Gong had to be helped by two people to walk to a seat in the prison visiting room in the city of Wuhan. He drooled and couldn’t talk and move his left side, said the letter dated Dec. 11, the day after the visit.

‘‘I asked him if his spirits were good. He could only say ‘good, good,’ ’’ his sister Gong Shuzhen said last week in Beijing, where she, the preacher’s two adult daughters, and two other followers had come to petition the Supreme Court and national legislature. ‘‘I told him, ‘The God we believe in will save you.’ ’’

Associated Press

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of