Christian Bookseller Sentenced to 7 Years by Chinese Government, Over 12,000 Texts Destroyed


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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

According to many of these reports, members of the Uighur ethnic minority are being carted off and sent to concentration camps.

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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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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