Appeal for Christian bookstore— verdict pending

Logo of “Xiaomai Bookstore” (Wheat Bookstore)
(Photo: ChinaAid source)

(Linhai, Zhejiang Province—December 15, 2021)
The Second Instance on Chen Yu’s case (Xiaomai Bookstore) of Linhai, Zhejiang,
has opened. Chen Yu’s lawyer Deng Qinggao and Chen Yu’s parents attended the
trial. Lawyer Deng and Chen Yu pleaded not guilty and made statements in court.
The result of the second instance is currently pending decisions.



Due to owning and operating an online
bookstore (Xiaomai Bookstore), which sold Christian reading materials, Zhang
Xiaomai (formerly Chen Yu), a Christian from Linhai, was arrested on September
11, 2019, for “illegally selling foreign-published religious materials.” On
September 27 of 2020, Zhejiang province’s Linhai People’s Court sentenced Chen
Yu to seven years in prison, with a 200,000 yuan (~31,000 USD) fine on the
charge of “illegally operating a business.” Authorities went on to destroy the
12,864 books seized from Xiaomai Bookstore. Subsequently, Chen Yu’s lawyer
submitted an appeal to the Taizhou Intermediate People’s Court.



Early March of this year, Chen Yu’s mother,
Zheng Jinmei, received a call from Chen Yu’s lawyer, saying that the Taizhou
Intermediate People’s Court might open a trial around mid-March. However,
Taizhou Intermediate People’s Court postponed the second instance’s hearing to
September 30 on the grounds of the pandemic. Around September 30, Chen Yu’s
mother received another notice from the lawyer, informing her that Chen Yu’s
two lawyers were from Xiamen, which was classified as a high-risk area of
Covid-19, so the second trial that was initially scheduled for September 30
will no longer proceed. The trial date was postponed again to the end of



Zheng Jinmei once asked a lawyer to relay to
Chen Yu that she hoped he would join the daily “China’s five o’clock in the
afternoon” prayer in prison and pray simultaneously with the Christians outside
the prison. On June 3 of this year, Chen Yu’s lawyer met with Chen Yu at the
Linhai City Detention Center in Zhejiang Province. Chen Yu’s parents also
traveled a great distance to the detention center, but due to Covid
restrictions, they could not accompany the lawyer to meet with Chen Yu. On that
day, Chen Yu told lawyer Deng Qinggao that he had been persistently praying
with everyone at five o’clock every afternoon.



On December 10, 2021, Chen Yu’s mother, Zheng
Jinmei, received Chen Yu’s second letter since the last one in July. Chen Yu’s
mother revealed that Chen Yu was not bitter, nor did he complain in the letter.
Chen Yu said in the letter:



Father and mother,
you have to be strong and joyful, live every day to the fullest. As the date
for the second trial approaches, my heart is unexpectedly filled with peace. In
the past two years, what have I lost? I temporarily lost the times with my
family, but I did not lose love for my family; I temporarily lost my freedom,
but I did not lose the freedom of thought; I temporarily lost my Sundays, but I
did not lose my faith.



Chen Yu told the
lawyer that though he was still imprisoned, the outside was a bigger prison. He
thought this sentence made much sense; those with faith will not lose anything:



I can change hell
into heaven, and I can sleep peacefully in a storm, I can sing praises of
thanksgiving in prison, I can become a dancer with chains, those without faith
cannot have anything, and will only change heaven into hell. Compared to those
enslaved due to their fear of death, we are truly free and cannot lose
anything. Abraham may seem to have lost Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and Benjamin. The
father seemed to have lost the prodigal son; you may seem to have lost me, but
they have gained back what was lost, and so may you. If it is more blessed to
give than to receive, it can also be said that it is more blessed to lose than
to have because only losing can bring about something greater. I firmly believe
that we will be more beautiful and mature when we meet again. May you remain
strong and joyful, your son Chen Yu who loves you.



Chen Yu told the
lawyer that though he was still imprisoned, the outside was a bigger prison. He
thought this sentence made much sense; those with faith will not lose anything.



Chen Yu’s mother recently fell ill but was
greatly comforted and encouraged by her son’s letter:



“May God use my son’s letter, and I hope it
resonated with everyone. No matter those imprisoned or on the outside, we
believe that the wondrous Holy Spirit will be with those imprisoned; their
lives will be held up high.”



Chen Yu’s mother continued by saying that she
is thankful to God for giving her a son like this. She has also seen how her
son, though imprisoned behind high walls, his life has been uplifted, and his
faith has been strengthened.

~ Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Correspondent

China Aid exposes abuses to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law. If you wish to partner with us in helping those persecuted by the Chinese government, please click the button below to make a charitable donation.

ChinaAid Media Team
Cell: +1 (432) 553-1080 | Office: +1 (432) 689-6985 | Other: +1 (888) 889-7757
Email: [email protected]
For more information, click here