China Prosecutes Christians For Selling Audio Bibles

Monday, December 14, 2020

By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - China is prosecuting Christian businessmen for selling audio versions of the Bible in a government effort to “eradicate pornography and illegal publications,” rights groups confirmed.

Among those on trial is Lai Jinqiang, a Christian businessman whose company sells an audio Bible player — an MP3-like device that allows users to share passages from the Bible. He was tried in a district court in China’s coastal city Shenzhen on December 7 for selling the electronic devices, trial observers said.

On December 9, four Christians, Fu Xuanjuan, Deng Tianyong, Han Li, and Feng Qunhao, were tried by the same court for “illegal business operations.”

They all worked for Life Tree Culture Communication Co., Ltd, which mainly sells audio Bible players. The prosecutor reportedly recommended that the court sentence Fu, the company's owner, to five years in prison. The other three sentences ranged from 18 months to three years. The owner was detained in December 2019; his four co-defendants others in July this year, Christians said.

It was not immediately clear when the court would rule, but the proposed jail terms sparked outrage among Christian rights activists. “The hefty sentences against these Christians are used to scare other Christians. So they would not dare to sell Bibles without going through state-sanctioned churches,” commented advocacy group International Christian Concern.


The audio Bible player selling company was founded in April 2011 in Shenzhen, in the southern province of Guangdong.

“While it is a legally established company that makes audio bible players, in China, if the government wants to criminalize you, it does not need a reason,” ICC said.

Chinese police are reportedly reaching out to buyers of the Bible players to warn them about potentially breaking the law by making such purchases.

China for years has allowed sales of the Bible through official channels, only making it difficult for many to obtain the book.

Authorities only allow perceived holy books of religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, and folk beliefs, to be sold through normal commercial channels


Additionally, central government authorities last year said they would publish an “official translation” of the Bible for Chinese worshippers.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) called for “a comprehensive evaluation of the existing religious classics aiming at contents which do not conform to the progress of the times.”

The CCP’s Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs, which oversees religious matters in China, concluded that the new “official edition” of the Bible must not contain any content that contradicts socialism. And, Bible paragraphs deemed wrong by censors will be amended or retranslated, the CCP said.

It comes amid a broader crackdown on devoted Christians in the Communist-run nation, rights groups say.

Communist officials have expressed concern about the growth of Christianity. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence noted that "faith in Jesus Christ has reached as many as 130 million Chinese Christians.”