A Chinese couple has lost their appeal against seven-year prison sentences for selling Christian literature.
A court in China has upheld the sentences against booksellers Chang Yuchun, 53, and his wife, Li Chenhui, 44, for ‘inciting subversion of State power’.
The charity Open Doors says that as well as each facing a seven-year jail term they must both pay fines of 250,000 yuan (approximately £29,700) for running an ‘illegal business operation’.
A local source told Open Doors: “This is not the first case of religious booksellers being given a jail sentence. However, seven years and a hefty fine is rare.”
The charity says that over the course of five years, Yuchun and Chenhui printed and sold Christian literature until their printing company was shut down by authorities in July 2021.
According to ChinaAid, more than 210,000 books were confiscated from the warehouse and workshop.
The couple were accused of running a company without a license as well as of ‘inciting subversion of State power’.
The couple’s four children aged between four and 22 are now living with their grandparents.
In September 2020, a Christian bookseller in Zhejiang province also received a seven-year prison sentence and a fine of approximately £22,700 for alleged illegal business activities, running an online bookstore selling Christian literature.
In recent months, authorities have clamped down further on the distribution of Christian resources including audio Bible players and a Bible app.
The printing and selling of Christian literature, especially illegal Christian literature, is not necessary for practicing the Faith. Early Christians spread the word just fine without handing out flyers or books. Scripture tells us to obey secular law other than when it interferes with our worship of Christ, but this couple ignored those passages. They knew they were breaking the law, and knew they would be punished if caught, but violated the law and Scripture instead of complying. If standing up for your faith will accomplish nothing but get you imprisoned or killed, do Christians think God will praise them for those actions, when they could have quietly spread the Truth instead? I think God is a bit more rational than that.