China jails three for illegally printing Bibles

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by North Carolina Tentmaker, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    washingtonpost.com
    China jails three for illegally printing Bibles

    Reuters
    Tuesday, November 8, 2005; 1:47 AM


    BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced a Protestant minister, his wife and her brother to prison terms of up to three years for illegally printing Bibles and other Christian publications, one of their lawyers said.

    The conviction of house church minister Cai Zhuohua, 34, and his family by the Beijing People's Intermediate Court came days before U.S. President George W. Bush arrives for a state visit.

    In atheist China, printing of Bibles and other religious publications need special approval from the State Bureau of Religious Affairs. Bibles cannot be openly bought at bookshops in a country long criticized overseas for intolerance of religion.

    Cai, arrested in September last year, was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of "illegal business practices," attorney Zhang Xingshui said by telephone.

    His 33-year-old wife, Xiao Yunfei, was given a two-year prison sentence and her brother, Xiao Gaowen, 37, an 18-month term, the lawyer said. Both were convicted on similar charges.

    They were expected to appeal and have 10 days to do so.

    Their families and the court could not immediately be reached for comment.

    A fourth defendant, Hu Jinyun, Xiao Gaowen's wife, was exempted from criminal punishment on charges of "secretly storing illegal goods" because she made contributions by informing against her sister-in-law, the lawyer quoted the verdict as saying.

    Rights activists say that while religious freedom is enshrined in China's constitution and the faithful are allowed to worship at official churches, the government is increasingly using legal excuses to crack down on house churches and wayward religious groups.

    The prosecutor, in the bill of indictment, accused the defendants of illegally printing 200,000 copies of the Bible which were found in Cai's warehouse but the verdict did not mention a figure.

    In July, Hong Kong's Beijing-funded Ta Kung Pao newspaper quoted Ye Xiaowen, director of the State Bureau of Religious Affairs, as saying Cai illegally printed 40 million copies of the Bible and other Christian publications.

    Ye accused Cai of illegally selling over two million copies of the Bible instead of giving them away for free, the newspaper said, adding that Ye insisted the case had nothing to do with religious persecution.
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
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    While I'm of course against religious persecution, I'm wondering what would have been required for them to get approval from the State Bureau of Religious Affairs for printing of the religious material, and why they didn't seek approval.
     
  3. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    North Carolina Tentmaker,

    Thanks for keeping us appraised of those Christian who are being persecuted around the world.

    North Korea, Java, Indonesia, Sudan, Cuba, China and other parts of the world are experiencing repression and suffering. We need to pray for these people like we all did to bring down Communism in Russia. The kinds of people plus Muslims are around to do the Devil's work.

    We need to keep in mind that thousands of Muslims are turning to Christ away from the hatred of radical people. Praise the Lord!

    Brother, if you are a 'tentmaker'/pastor of a small church, keep preaching the Word and our Lord will use you in wonderful ways.

    I am a minister and know that things I have preached with one intent, the Lord has brought to mind other things through what I said in the pulpit or in conversation. The Lord works in a myriad of ways. Apparently, He is still using you for His glory and praise.

    Thanks again! We are passing more ammunition to you. Stand fast in the Lord!

    Ray
     
  4. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
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    More examples of the folly of mixing government and religion in any manner.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    Bibles have been printed in China for a long time.

    Nan Jing Amity Printing Co. Ltd.
     
  6. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    The relationship between the state sanctioned church and the underground church in China is sometimes strained with the usual accusations of heresy being thrown.

    My guess is that those arrested were part of the underground church movement in China.

    The issue for the PRC is stablility and control and not necessarily anti-Christian or anti-religious sentiment. Christian organizations that work with the government instead of having a subversive or antagonistic approach, enjoy certain "freedoms", with the understanding that "Big Brother" is watching to make sure you keep in line. It is a tight-rope act sometimes.
     

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