Sewing the wrong flag will land you in jail for several years in China.
by Yang Feng
On April 7, 2020, the People’s Procuratorate of Cili county, Zhangjiajie city, Hunan province formalized the arrest of two suspect members of the Association of Disciples, whose last names are Qin and Tuo.
According to the police, they were caught sewing red crosses on white flags, creating what is a symbol of the Association of Disciples. The police claim they had prepared 280 such flags. Their houses were raided on February 26, 2021, and Qin and Tuo were arrested.
The police told the Procuratorate that, according to their investigation, the two believers moved from Shimen county, in the northern part of Hunan province, to Cili county to evangelize in rural areas, including the towns of Sanhe, Xiangshi, and Jiangya.
The Association of Disciples (门徒会, Mentuhui) is a Christian new religious movement founded by Ji Sanbao (季三保, 1940-1997), a former member of the True Jesus Church, in 1989. It was banned in 1990, included in the list of the xie jiao, and severely persecuted. In 2020, a national campaign was launched against the Association of Disciples.
The doctrine of the Disciples is known as “Teachings of the Third Redemption” (三赎教), referring to the fact that the movement offers the third sign of salvation, after Noah’s ark and Jesus Christ’s cross.
Qin and Tuo now face a severe punishment. Sewing the wrong flag is certainly a serious crime in China.