by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The owner of a company that produces audio Bible players in China’s Guangdong province is due to appear in court on December 7 to answer charges of conducting “illegal business operations,” Morning Star News reports. Lai Jinqiang, owner of Shenzhen Cedar Electronics, faces trial after being arrested together with his six employees on July 22 last year.
Shenzen Cedar Electronics develops, produces and promotes Biblical audio products and accessories. The company supplies a network of churches in China and has become the country’s top seller of audio Bibles, Morning Star News said.
A member of house church group “China Gospel Fellowship (CGF),” Lai Jinqiang is expected to be tried in Bao’an People’s Court on Monday. It is anticipated he could be sentenced to several years in prison. Lai Jinqiang’s family will be allowed to follow the trial via livestream, Morning Star News said.
It has been reported to China Aid that a local pastor and acquaintance of Lai Jinqiang believes Chinese officials arrested the businessman in an effort to frame leaders of the CGF house church network, Morning Star News reports.
China went up four places this year and now ranks 23rd on the 2020 US Open Doors Watch List of countries that persecute Christians. “It is correct to say that the situation for Christians has deteriorated all over China. The Chinese government wants to “sinicize” every religious ideology in the country—meaning, to make beliefs, including Christianity, fall in line with their interpretation of Communism. This means a steady drip of pressure, where the government increases surveillance, control, and restrictions of believers,” Open Doors said in a statement on their website.