Chinese Pastor and Some of His Congregation Have Been Held Without Charge Since November

Freedom of religion still an alien concept to some


A Chinese Christian pastor and 23 members of his congregation have been held at an unknown location illegally and without access to lawyers since mid-November.

The case of Pastor Zhang Shaojie is evidence that in parts of China the violent suppression and unlawful arrests of the faithful by local government officials continues.

China's poor record on religious tolerance has been showing signs of improvement in recent years.

The Communist government had pledged to improve the rights of religious groups but this case suggests challenges remain.