China’s highest-ranking Christian Pastor, Gu Yuese, a.k.a Joseph Gu, Senior pastor of the Chongyi Protestant Church in Zhejiang’s capital Hangzhou, is currently under investigation, 11 days after the removal from office, announced by CCC of Zhejiang and Hangzhou.
On 29th ,Jan, CCC of Zhejiang province official website published the “announcement” as the headline, without the specific time. It state that recently Pastor Gu is under investigation because of suspicion of embezzlement and other economic problems . “Assorting relevant departments to investigate, we are deeply shocked and felling regret. Facing this kind of church condition, when full of internal and external troubles, it’s time to wake up.” says the report.
It also warns the audience that “Don't be deluded, learn to distinguish; Don't let their own self bias and arrogant to restrict the development of space, only to plead that God pity the church of Zhejiang. ”
The statement seems to be talking about the serious problem is due to Pastor Gu individually, saying, “Although this is the individual behavior, has nothing to do with provincial CPPCC Christian work, however, we suffer too much loss. We believe that everyone is equal before the law. China is a country with rule of law. The pastoral staff should take notice that the love of money is the root of all evil. Mind your words and deeds! The shepherd is expected to set a good example for believers. Beg God will walk in the midst of the church, servant learn to re-turn to God and repent pleaded guilty. We depend on God and believe that the CCC of Zhejiang province will not be affected by individuals’ behavior . Under the bless from God, and with the government’s support, we wish that faith of churches in Zhejiang will become pure, and our trust in God will get stronger, towards a healthy and harmonious, civilized rational, normal and orderly development."
On January 29th, some pastors give out the news that Pastor Gu Yuese went missing for one day. There are also reports saying that despite Pastor Gu went missing since 27th, the family and elders receive a detention notice for some reasons unknown.
A number of shepherd from various places expressed their concerns about it, and said to pray for Rev. Gu and his family.
From now on,Chong Yi Church has not publish any notice and criticism officially. No final results of the investigation conducted by related departments has been released.
Rev. Gu has been serving as the Chair-person of Hangzhou CCC, and the senior pastor of Chongyi Church for years.
As a Christian association of zhejiang province. Chongyi Church is located in downtown of Hangzhou city (Jianggan District, 26-28 Xintang Rd.) The church and the surrounding land of 22.471 mu , is one of the largest churches in Hangzhou area .The church has a new hall, rebuild in 2003, completed in 2005, the total area of 12480 square meters, covers an area of 7299 square meters,. Chongyi church can accommodate 5500 people at the same time. It is by far the world's largest Chinese church, as known as China’s first Mega-church. Investment of 42 million yuan, the new church funds are all from believers.
On January 18, CCC of Hangzhou Christian states that Rev Gu Yuese( Joseph) will no longer serve as a the senior pastor in Christian association of Zhejiang province, replaced by Rev.Zhang Zhongcheng, the vice chairman. The announcement states this Personnel changes is decided according to the requirements of the provincial and municipal departments.
The investigation ongoing awaits more details.
Translated by: Zhao Yi