A Chinese Christian who operates an online bookstore was sentenced to seven years in prison for selling religious material that wasn’t approved by the Communist government.

International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that Chen Yu was charged with “illegal business operations” on Sep. 27. In addition to receiving a $29,450 fine, the Linhai City Public Security Bureau plans to destroy 12,864 Christian books from his bookstore.

Chen, who ran his bookstore in Zhejiang province’s Taizhou city, was arrested on Sep. 1. Local police opened an investigation to locate his previous customers, then seize the books they bought.

[ICC News] For selling #Christian books, this Christian bookseller in #China has been sentenced to seven years of imprisonment. Learn more: https://t.co/byWsjvtaZD

— International Christian Concern (@persecutionnews) October 1, 2020

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, said, “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.

“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.”

Religious persecution by China’s communist party has intensified as government officials are pressuring Christians to follow specific rules and regulations or face the consequences.

The faith community is perceived as a threat to Xi’s regime. There are more Christians in China than Communist Party members. It’s a reality that does not sit well with the party.

A pastor from Shenzhen city in the southern province of Guangdong told Bitter Winter, “People who buy Christian books are practicing believers, so the government looks into them to determine how dangerous they are to the stability of their regime.

“The Communist Party has done too many shameful deeds and continues to suppress people. Our government has a guilty conscience,” the pastor added.

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