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Jailed Chinese pastor's family escapes to US

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Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 4:52 am | Updated: 11:39 am, Tue Jul 15, 2014.

BEIJING (AP) — A U.S.-based Christian rights group says three relatives of an imprisoned pastor have sneaked out of China to the United States after complaining about an extended campaign of harassment from Chinese authorities.

China Aid said Tuesday that activists helped Zhang Shaojie's daughter, son-in-law and 1-year-old grandchild leave China through Southeast Asia. China Aid founder Bob Fu said the three landed in Dallas on Monday.

Zhang, who led a church in the central province of Henan, was sentenced to 12 years in prison this month after being convicted of fraud and gathering crowds to disturb public order. His church had been involved in a dispute with local authorities over land for a new building.

Fu said that Zhang's family was harassed by local officials and monitored by police.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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