Qin Defu was sentenced to prison due to his involvement with 20,000 Christian books used by the 5,000-member church
Early Rain Covenant Church Elder Qin Defu has been sentenced to four years for sharing gospel tracts.
This is in contradiction to a promise given to his family, in which authorities guaranteed if Qin accepted a state-appointed attorney, he would be released.
Elder Qin was charged with “illegal business operations” for having books for the church and sentenced to four years in prison.
Qin Defu was sentenced to prison due to his involvement with 20,000 Christian books used by the 5,000-member church, according to persecution watchdog ChinaAid.
“Police reneged their earlier promise to his family that if they accepted a government-appointed attorney, they would ‘go through the formalities then release him,’” Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi‘s lawyer’s said, according to a Facebook post from a group affiliated with the church.
“At brother Qin’s trial, we learned that the charge of ‘illegal business operations’ only concerned 20,000 books for the church’s own use (most of these were small gospel tracts like ‘The Good News You Don’t Want to Hear’), and Pastor Wang Yi actively took most of the responsibility for this in his testimony. Based on this, I estimate that Pastor Wang Yi will be sentenced to no less than 10 years in prison.”
Approximately 50 others from the church have been jailed, and some of those who have not been imprisoned have been subjected to harassment by the police or placed under house arrest, according to the Facebook page run by church supporters.
China ranks number 27 in Open Door’s list of top 50 countries where it is most deadly to be a christian.