by June Cheng
Zhang and two assistants were taken from a Xialing church on Tuesday, a day before a planned meeting with Rabbi David Saperstein, U.S. ambassador at-large for religious freedom. About 10 other pastors have also been detained and accused of threatening public order and national security.
Saperstein called for the release of the detainees, saying the actions were “outrageous,” especially since Chinese authorities had encouraged his visit to examine religious freedom in the China: “In that context, there can be no excuse for the detention of these religious figures who either met with me or tried to meet with me.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit to the United States later this month. Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said human rights would be “a key core issue” during the visit ahead of the UN General Assembly...