The former leader of China’s largest official Protestant “mega-church” has been arrested and charged for the second time with misappropriating funds.

Gu Yuese (also known as Joseph Gu) was arrested on 7 January, a year after being arrested on the same charges. (He was released on bail in March 2016, but kept under police surveillance.)

As with his previous arrest, rights groups claim his detention is “politically motivated” and relates to his public opposition to government’s removal of crosses from churches in Zhejiang Province.

After that first arrest, Gu was dismissed from his post as senior pastor of the Chongyi Church in Hangzhou, a government-approved church with around 10,000 members. Local Christians told Radio Free Asia he did not return to work after his release.

Source: Hong Kong Free Press