By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
BEIJING (Worthy News)-- Nanle County Church Pastor Shaojie Zhang was sentenced on July 4 to 12 years in prison in China, according to International Christian Concern.
The Nanle County Christian Church had been battling local government authorities over a plot of land; last year, NCC members went to Beijing to petition for the land, but instead Zhang and 20 of his flock were detained in November; after seven months, Zhang was tried and charged with "fraud" and "gathering a crowd to disturb public order."
Concerning the charge of fraud, the prosecutor failed to produce a single witness against Zhang.
Pastor Zhang's defense lawyers claimed that Nanle County authorities handled their client's case in a way that "continuously violated Chinese criminal procedure law."
Zhang's family has appealed the ruling to Puyang City.