Journalist and Christian activist Li Ying was released from prison in China on Dec. 25, 2011, just three years shy of completing a 15-year sentence she received because of her work on an underground Christian magazine. Li was arrested in April 2001 along with 16 others from the South China Church.
China Aid Association founder and president Bob Fu spoke with Li on Friday, Feb. 10. Li is very grateful for the support she received from around the world. She told Fu that she was aware of the many letters she had received but that authorities never let her see the letters. Li reiterated her thanks to her world-wide supporters.
“This is a great answer to prayer,” said Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development for The Voice of the Martyrs. “We thank the Lord that Li Ying is alive and out of prison.”
Li was condemned to death in Dec. 2001, but the judgment was revised to a 15-year prison sentence by the Hubei Provincial Supreme Court in October 2002. During her time in prison, she was reportedly forced to work 15 hours a day on products for export. Her visits with her family were also strictly limited, and she was not allowed to have a Bible.
Li Ying is the niece of Pastor Gong Shengliang, founder of the South China Church, one of the fastest growing house-church movements in China. She has been arrested several times and also spent a year in prison in 1996. Her story was featured on www.prisoneralert.com, which allows concerned Christians to write letters of encouragement to imprisoned Christians. Since 2004, more than 11,400 letters were written to Li through the website.
“Li Ying was one of the very first prisoners that we featured on PrisonerAlert,” said Nettleton. “And even though she was not allowed to see the letters, we know that prison officials and Chinese authorities knew that her case was being watched. They knew that the world had not forgotten her.”
Source: Voice of the Martyrs