Pastor Shi Weihan, now also known by his English name, John Stone, was arrested in China on Nov. 29, 2007. As a bookstore owner, he sold books with the government’s permission, but Pastor Shi also printed and freely distributed Bibles and other Christian books on the side. On June 10, 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison on a charge of violating “the regulations of the state in printing illegal publications,” according to the official indictment.
While Shi was in prison, VOM readers sent his family letters in response to a story about him on VOM’s www.PrisonerAlert.com website. Pastor Shi was released from prison in February 2011 and later left China with his family to pursue studies at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. He recently met with VOM workers to talk about his time in prison and share how much the letters from VOM readers meant to him and to his family.