Authorities in Ningxia Hui autonomous region arrested a man and put him in prison for merely helping a friend who is a member of The Church of Almighty God.
In July 2013, officials from Guyuan city Public Security Bureau detained Liu Cheng (pseudonym) for transporting religious materials. He was later charged with “suspicion of using a xie jiao to undermine the enforcement of the law.”
Xie jiao refers to heterodox teachings in China, and being active in such activities is a crime punishable by Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code with a jail penalty of three to seven years or more.
However, Mr. Liu did nothing that would justify the charge. Mr. Liu, a native of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in China, had a friend who was a member of The Church of Almighty God. In 2013, his friend needed to transport some religious material, and Mr. Liu agreed to help him even though he was never a member of the Church himself.
The Church of Almighty God is a Chinese Christian new religious movement that was started in 1991, and by government estimates, around four million Chinese are a part of it. Which is why, both the church and its members are always under the CCP radar and subject to harsh persecution. In this case, even the non-believers are under the target of the authorities if they happen to help the believers in any way whatsoever.
A year after he was arrested, the court sentenced Mr. Liu to seven and a half years in prison for the “crime” he was charged with. He will remain in prison until October 19, 2021. Meanwhile, the authorities have been continuously monitoring his home since he was arrested.
Reported by Ma Xiagu