Christian couple homeless after seven-year sentence

Chang Yuchun and Li Chenhui printed and sold many Christian books before their arrest
(Photo: FreeImages)

(Xian, Shaanxi province—May 25, 2022) Mr. Chang Yuchun and Mrs. Li Chenhui are a Christian couple from Xian, Shaanxi Province. On November 16, 2021, Shaanxi Province Xi’an Municipal Intermediate Court gave each of them a seven-year sentence and a fine of ¥250,000(~$37,239) for printing Christian books. Reportedly, the court forcibly auctioned their car and house to pay for the fine. Their four children now live with Mrs. Li’s parents. Their family remains in financial peril. 


The couple established Guang Yi Ai Sheng Printing Co., Ltd. in 2015. They printed and sold many Christian books, drawing the attention of regional law enforcement. After their checkup, they concluded the company printed Christian books without printing permission. Those books were stored in a warehouse and a workshop. On July 21, 2020, Xi’an Municipal Culture Law Enforcement department and Xi’an Municipal National Security Department jointly shut down their company and confiscated over 210,000 books. Shaanxi Province Department of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television identified 24 book titles as unauthorized illegal publications, including the book “The Reformed Faith.” 


On July 22, 2020, Xi’an Gaoling District police placed the couple under house arrest on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” On October 12, 2020, they were criminally detained on suspicion of “illegal business operations.” Gaoling District Procuratorate formally approved their arrest 10 days later with the charge of “illegal business operations,” thereby accusing the couple of running an illegal printing business without printing permission. Chang Yuchun was held at Xi’an City Gaoling District detention center and Li Chenhui at Xi’an City Weiyang District detention center. The court gave Chang Yuchun and Li Chenhui a heavy sentence of 7 years and a fine of ¥250,000, respectively. 


The couple and their representative attorney thought the sentence and fine of the first trial were disproportionate, so they appealed. On November 15, Shaanxi Province Xi’an Municipal Intermediate Court issued the verdict of the second trial: rejecting the appeal and upholding the original sentence. Their imprisonment will end on September 1, 2027. 


The couple has four children ages 4, 8, 14, and 22. Now, the children live with Li Chenhui’s 73-year-old father and 70-year-old mother. The total fine of ¥500,000 (~$74,479) brought a heavy financial burden to their family. The couple’s car and house were forcibly auctioned by the court, so they will have no place to live when their sentence ends. 


~Yu Bing, China Aid Special Reporter 

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