Two co-workers were also sentenced but released. The successful house church is being punished for its national outreach.
by Tao Niu
“Bitter Winter” reported last year that Pastor Qin Sifeng and Sister Su Minjun of Beijing Lampstand Church had been arrested in Zibo, Shandong, while traveling for evangelizing purposes to faraway Yunnan. Subsequently another co-worker, We Ling’e, was also arrested.
Relatives and co-religionists reported on social media on June 6 that Pastor Qin has been sentenced to five years in jail and remains in the Zibo City Detention Center. Sister Su has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail. However, the sentence has been suspended and she has been sent back home.
We Ling’e received an eight-months sentence. He has also been released as the sentence corresponds to the pre-trial detention time.
It seems that the decision was rendered in April but was reported only last week.
As is becoming fashionable, the defendants have been sentenced for “illegal business operations” for having printed some hymn booklets without authorization, although they were only used within the church.
The Beijing Lampstand Church is a successful house church with a national outreach. It is exactly the kind of church not affiliated with the government-controlled Three-Self Church that Xi Jinping at the National Religious Work Conference of 2021 vowed to suppress.