Not content with persecuting believers, the CCP confiscates and destroys Christian texts, Qurans, and Buddhist scriptures.
by Deng Changlin
26 people given hefty sentences for printing Good News Mission books
On July 7, the People’s Court of Huai’an city’s Huaiyin district in the eastern province of Jiangsu gave hefty sentences to Xian Renguo, director of the Secretarial Department of the South Korean Good New Mission, and other 25 people on the charge of “illegal business operations.”
Xian Renguo was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison, and fined 20,000 RMB (about $ 3,000). Two other Mission members in charge of books were sentenced to three years and six months in prison, and were given fines. Several printing house managers were sentenced to three years of imprisonment, with a probation period ranging from three to five years. Most of them were fined 100,000 RMB (about $ 15,000) or more. Many others who participated in the translation, compilation, and printing of books were given prison sentences ranging from six months to two years. These people who received sentences involved 13 provinces of China.
The court also gave fines ranging from 30,000 (about $ 4,500) to 110,000 RMB (about $ 16,500) to the Changlü Paper Product Co. Ltd. in Yiwu city in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the Tianhong Color Printing Co. Ltd. in Guangzhou city in the southern province of Guangdong, and three other involved printing houses.
According to our sources, the Good News Mission established the Secretarial Department in Guangzhou city in 2009, whose major task was to compile and publish “Looking Up” (仰望), “Colorful Dreams” (七彩夢), and other religious publications. These two books mainly include testimonies on the experiences of Mission members, and are intended for internal circulation within the Mission. Nearly all of these 26 people were sentenced for participating in the compiling and printing of these two books.
Sentenced for photocopying religious materials
A printing shop owner in the southwestern province of Guizhou was detained by the police in September for 37 days on “suspicion of illegal business operation” for photocopying the Quran, and was later released on bail.
In November 2019, a house church member was sentenced to ten months in prison on the charge of “illegal business operation” for printing children’s Christian books used within the church, and the involved printing house manager was also sentenced to ten months in prison.
Sentenced to 12 years in prison for printing books of The Church of Almighty God
Printing books of banned religious groups results in even more severe penalties. On December 10, 2014, Dong Qihong, Zhou Xiangyun, and Hu Weijun, who were members of The Church of Almighty God (CAG), were sentenced by the People’s Court of Dafeng city in the eastern province of Jiangsu to imprisonment of 12 years, ten years, and nine years respectively. Eight other arrested CAG members, who printed and transported CAG books together with them, were given prison sentences ranging from three years and three months to eight years.
It was reported to Bitter Winter that Dong Qihong and other CAG members were subjected to extremely brutal torture during detention.
In May 2008, two CAG members from the central province of Henan were sentenced to imprisonment of 11 years and nine years respectively for participating in printing CAG books, and two printing house managers were sentenced to imprisonment of five years and four years respectively and were both fined. Another CAG member was sentenced to imprisonment of seven years merely for safekeeping CAG books.
On July 30 this year, 65-year-old Li Hongsheng and 70-year-old Bai Wenlan, both CAG members from the eastern province of Shandong, were sentenced by the court to imprisonment of six years and five years respectively and fined 60,000 RMB (about $ 9,000) and 50,000 RMB (about $ 7,500) respectively on the charge of “using a xie jiao organization to undermine law enforcement” merely for safekeeping CAG books. In August, a CAG member from Shandong’s Jining city was sentenced to imprisonment of five years for photocopying CAG materials.
Religious books burned across China
While strictly banning religious books in the printing industry, the CCP government spared no efforts to confiscate and burn religious books.
On October 25, government officials from Linfen city in the northern province of Shanxi shut down the local Fengci Temple, trucked away over 400 kilograms of religious books from the temple and burned them. They also confiscated tens of thousands of religious CDs.
In October, Longnan county government officials in Ganzhou city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi ordered some poverty-stricken households to burn Buddhist books in the Foguang Temple. County residents told Bitter Winter that the government burned the temple’s Buddhist books on four occasions, forcing poverty-stricken households to burn the temple’s Buddhist books by threatening to cancel their minimum subsistence allowance otherwise.
A temple abbot from Jiangxi’s Jingdezhen city told Bitter Winter that the local government put all the temples’ CDs on the road and used an excavator to crash them. And the government ordered the Shatuo Temple abbot to burn its 2,000 Buddhist books in July last year.
The Reclining Buddha Mountain Temple in Ulanqab city in Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region had its religious books and CDs burned in this spring.
“Those books and CDs were burned in the incense burner for three to four days,” a Buddhist from Ulanqab city told Bitter Winter. “The rest of religious books and CDs were taken away in a fully loaded truck. The CDs alone weighed three to four hundred kilograms.”
In October last year, government officials from Bayannur city in Inner Mongolia burned Buddhist books from the Puji Temple. They fully loaded nine farm tricycles with those books.
“Five shovel-loads of books were burned, with every shovel-load weighing at least 150 kilograms. They were burned for a whole day in a 3-meter-long incense burner,” a monk of the temple said.