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Hong Kong: Christian Scholar Peng Manyuan Released but Not Rehabilitated

Released from jail after serving his sentence, his appeals to be recognized as innocent were not accepted.

by Gladys Kwok

January 26, 2023

Peng, handcuffed, was taken from jail to his trial. Screenshot.

Hong Kong authorities released Christian scholar Peng Manyuan in December after he had served his one-year jail sentence, but his repeated appeals to be rehabilitated and recognized as innocent were dismissed.

Peng is well-known in the local Christian community. He was born in Honk Kong in 1963, and became an expert on early Nestorian Christianity in China. He was appointed a lecturer and a visiting professor at Shaanxi Normal University, where he continued to study Nestorian history.

He then returned to Hong Kong, and became one of the pastors of Kowloon City Baptist Church. From 2007, he spent time in the UK as a pastor at Chinese Christian Church in Oxford.

Through his popular YouTube channel “The Pastor and You,” he supported the protests for democracy and started being harassed by the authorities in 2019. Together with female activist Zhao Meiying, Peng invented the role of the “auditor.” They attended the trials of those prosecuted for being pro-democracy and protested.

Peng speaking on his YouTube channel. Screenshot.

Peng and Zhao were detained on April 6, 2022.

In October 2022, Peng was sentenced to one year in jail for “sedition.” Zhao got three months. Peng was released in early December 2022, as the pre-trial detention was also considered.

He has resumed his pastoral and YouTube activities, inter alia by publishing a moving poem (without political content) where he bids farewell to the prison.

The first lines of Peng’s poem bidding farewell to prison. Screenshot.

He remains under surveillance, and his friends believe that because of his activities he may be arrested again.


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