China Sentences Christian Bookstore Owner to Seven Years in Prison and Destroys Over 12,000 Books

A pictorial Bible is displayed at an exhibition, titled “Thy Word Is the Truth: The Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China,” in Washington, D.C., Sept. 29, 2011. | The Christian Post/Amanda Winkler

A Chinese Christian online bookstore owner has been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined nearly $30,000 for engaging in what the regime deems as “illegal business operations.”

Persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reports that in September 2019, Chen Yu, who operated his online bookstore in Zhejiang province’s Taizhou city, was detained for selling unapproved religious publications imported from Taiwan, the U.S., and other countries.

Last week, he was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 200,000 RMB ($29,450), according to a document from the People’s Court of Linhai City, shared by Father Francis Liu from the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness.

Additionally, Chen will also have his iPhone confiscated, while the 12,864 Christian books from his bookstore will be destroyed by the Linhai City Public Security Bureau.

ICC reports that police also launched a nationwide investigation to track down the bookstore’s customers through sale records and will confiscate their purchased books.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, said Chen’s sentencing reveals China’s Communist Party is “increasingly frightened by all things religious.”

“From religious symbols, Chinese couplets, to Christian books, anything that features religious elements is no longer tolerated by the Chinese Communist Party,” she said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett