Christian persecution in China continues to worsen.
Sources recently confirmed to the nonprofit International Christian Concern that a Chinese Christian online bookstore owner, Chen Yu, was charged with “illegal business operations” on Sept. 27.
He was sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of 200,000 renminbi ($29,450).
Chen was previously detained on Sept. 1, 2019, for selling unapproved religious publications imported from the U.S., Taiwan and other countries, according to ICC.
Chinese police launched an investigation to trace where the illegal religious publications had gone. Those publications were then confiscated.
Gina Goh, ICC’s regional manager for Southeast Asia, spoke out against Chen’s arrest.
“The sentence for Mr. Chen Yu shows how the Chinese government 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,” Goh said.
“The disproportionate sentencing of Christians, such as Early Rain Covenant Church pastor Wang Yi and Chen Yu, under the same charge implies that the crackdown against Christianity will only intensify. The US government and international community should continue to stand up to the tyranny in Beijing.”
China’s oppression of Christians and restrictions on religious freedoms has continued to worsen over the past few years.
Back in 2018, the Communist Party of China banned the online sale of Bibles.
Shortly thereafter, the CCP announced the Bible was being reinterpreted so that it conformed to “Chinese-style Christianity.”
David Curry, the president and CEO of Open Doors USA, spoke out about China’s Christian persecution in a blog on the Open Doors website published back in January.
“The government’s tightening on the Christian community in China — an estimated 97 million people — is real and happening right now. Every once in a while, the Chinese government will arrest some pastors, or shut down churches, or do something aggressive like take down crosses from steeples. But more often, the way they squeeze the church is quieter — and perhaps deadlier,” Curry wrote.
“Their primary fear is that Christians who follow Jesus have a greater allegiance to Him than the Communist Party — and they want to squeeze the life out of that allegiance.”
The Chinese government has come under especially intense scrutiny over the course of 2020 as numerous reports continue to come out confirming the government’s oppressive policies.
Uighurs sitting, bound and blindfolded, waiting to be loaded onto train cars and taken — somewhere.
— PariahDog1312?⚖️ (@Pdog119) July 15, 2020
As China continues to amass power on the world stage, the threat to religious liberty is becoming ever more apparent.
China’s assault on Christians, Muslims and other religious groups is only growing more prevalent.
Thankfully, Chen Yu doesn’t appear to have been hurt in any way. He’ll have the opportunity to serve his sentence and start his business again from scratch.
There’s nothing a Chinese court can do to take away his faith in Jesus Christ.
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