Creative Commons

Prominent house-church pastor imprisoned for using Christian books

Tue 03 Dec 2019
By Tola Mbakwe

A pastor in China has been sentenced to four years in prison in the latest high-profile crackdown on Christianity in the country.

Pastor at Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), Qin Defu, was charged with "illegal business operations."

According to Christian religious freedom charity China Aid, Pastor Defu learned at his trial on 25th November that he was being sentenced because of 20,000 Christian books the church used.

 

Pastor Defu's imprisonment comes after authorities promised his family that he would be released if he accepted a state-appointed attorney, which he did.

China Aid
Pastor Qin Defu (holding baby) and his family

Pastor Defu's attorney said the church's head pastor, Wang Yi, admitted in a testimony that he was involved with these books.

Early Rain Covenent Church/YouTube

 

Pastor Yi is also imprisoned. According to China Aid, the lawyer has speculated he would receive no less than a 10-year sentence.

Authorities seized around 100 members of ERCC during the night last December ans shut the church down. Most of them have since been released.

Meanwhile, congregants of ERCC have recently complained that that they are still facing harassment and threats from police.

China Aid said: "Officials, including Director Li of the Chengdu Municipal Police Station, devastated Pei Wenju’s and Jing Jianan’s family after they forcibly sent four of their legally adopted kids to different families."After last year’s raid, officials said Pei and his wife’s adoption papers were not valid since in part, the kids were 'trapped by an evil religion'."

Harassment intensified against Pei and Jing late last month.

According to reports, a group of authorities came by their home and said the family  needed to move out soon and threatened beatings each time the family went downstairs.

China Aid said water has been shut off at the place where the family is living, and the situation has deeply traumatised the couple’s daughter.

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