The Christian pastor was sentenced on July 4 after being detained by Chinese police on November 17. A family member, Zhang Cuijuan, and another pastor, Chao Junling, were also detained and are awaiting sentencing.
Pastor Zhang had been in a dispute with the Nanle County government since October over land that was allegedly supposed to be allocated to Zhang’s church for a new building. Zhang’s church is approved by the government.
The Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) said that Zhang’s arrest on fraud and public disturbance charges was in retaliation for his conflict with the county.