Jailed China Pastor's Family Safely Escapes to US

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Three members of an imprisoned pastor's family have arrived safely in the United States following their escape from a campaign of harassment in China.

A Christian rights group is reporting Zhang Shaojie's daughter, son-in-law and 1-year-old grandchild landed in Dallas, Monday, with the help of an underground network of activists.

"Our family and our church want to thank the U.S. government and many anonymous church leaders in different parts of the world for helping assist our family's hard fought freedom," China Aid founder Bob Fu quoted Zhang.

"Our family comes here to raise awareness of the deteriorating situation of religious freedom in Nanle and in China," he said.

Earlier this month, Zhang was sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of fraud and gathering crowds to disturb public order.

Zhang led the Nanle County Christian Church in the central province of Henan.

His church is sanctioned by China's government, but it was involved in a dispute over land for a new building.

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