Chinese Dissident-Evangelist Accused of Sexual Misconduct With University Student

Yuan Zhiming is recognized as one of the leading preachers and theologians for the global Chinese Christian community, which has at least 70 million Christians in China and more overseas. Photo courtesy of China Soul for Christ Foundation
Yuan Zhiming is recognized as one of the leading preachers and theologians for the global Chinese Christian community, which has at least 70 million Christians in China and more overseas. Photo courtesy of China Soul for Christ Foundation

After applying for an internship with the China Soul for Christ Foundation, a 23-year-old university student found herself in a Paris hotel bed with the foundation’s famous founder, Yuan Zhiming, according to a new independent investigation.

The unnamed woman’s story is laid out in the investigation by GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), a Virginia-based nonprofit founded by one of Billy Graham’s grandsons, Boz Tchividjian.

The student said she had two encounters with Yuan in September 2013.

“He started saying that he was lonely and that he needed to have company,” she said.

The woman stayed with him part of the first night as they watched a soft-porn feature film. The next evening, she refused his request and left.

Yuan is recognized as one of the leading preachers and theologians for the global Chinese Christian community, which has at least 70 million Christians in China and more overseas.

The GRACE report highlights the chronic difficulty of Chinese churches, many of which are independent, in holding their pastoral leaders accountable.

“Rev. Yuan and (China Soul) stand on the threshold of a unique opportunity that could allow them to be a powerful example of authentic Christian repentance to those inside and outside of the Chinese community,” the report says.

The GRACE report said the woman’s account was credible because five individuals corroborated her narrative during interviews with a professional investigator in Paris.

Yuan, through his attorney, denied any wrongdoing with the student.

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SOURCE: Religion News Service