China Human Rights Advocate Still Missing

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Congressional leaders renewed criticism of China's crackdown on human rights advocates this week as Chinese President Hu Jintao met with U.S. lawmakers.

One of the most prominent human rights advocates is Gao Zhiseng, a Christian civil rights lawyer who has been missing since April 2010.

Gao has been in and out of police custody since 2007 for protesting the persecution of Christians and Falun Gong followers.

In 2009, he spoke with reporters from the Associated Press about the abuse he suffered at the hands of the authorities. The AP just released the interview this month becauseGgao asked them not to tell the story unless he went missing again.

Gao said police continuously beat him with their handguns for two days. He also said they abused in him in ways he could not bring himself to describe.

"For 48 hours, my life hung by a thread," he said. "That degree of cruelty, there's no way to recount it."

In a letter published online, Gao said his faith kept him from being bitter.

"Even when I was tortured to near-death, the pain was only in the physical body," he said. "A heart that is filled with God has no room to entertain pain and suffering."

Leaders are calling on the church to pray for and speak out on behalf of Gao Zhiseng.

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