Handicapped Anhui House Church Pastor Sentenced to Two Years for Printing Christian Literature

China Aid Association
Photo: the court verdict paper for pastor Wang Zaiqing
(Midland, Texas (CAA)–October 20, 2006) CAA learned October 9, 2006, Pastor Wang Zaiqing, a prominent Chinese House Church leader in Anhui Province was sentenced to 2 years in prison on the charge of “Illegal Business Practices,” fined 100,000 Yuan ($12,500.00), and all the books and printing funds were confiscated from his home.
Pastor Wang was crippled at the age of 5. He became a Christian in 1993, and later became a very well-known House Church planter and preacher in several provinces around Anhui Province.
He had been printing and distributing Bibles and other Christian literature to fellow believers free of charge, which resulted in his arrest by the local PSB April 28, 2006. Wang was formally arrested June 26, 2006.
September 4, 2006 the local People’s Prosecutor filed the case to prosecute Wang Zaiqing for committing the crime of “Illegal Business Practices” in the local People’s Court. Wang entrusted Mr. Sun Hongye as his defense lawyer.
The indictment of the People’s Prosecutor states Wang Zaiqing violated Chinese Criminal Law Article 225, Items 1 and 4, by printing Bibles and other Christian literature, thus subjected to the investigation of his criminal responsibility.
Wang’s defense lawyer, Mr. Sun Hongye, stated:
First, from a legal stand point, the crime of Illegal Business Practices requires the accused to make a profit, and Wnag Zaiqing’s books were distributed at no cost. So Wang Zaiqing is innocent of this crime.
Secondly, the evaluation made by the local News & Publication Bureau that the books printed by Wang Zaiqing were illegal publications, is lacking any legal basis.
The books printed by Wang do not conform to the definition of publication?thus should not be treated as illegal publications.
October 9, 2006 the local people’s court announced its verdict in the first trial of Wang Zaiqing. The court maintained that:
1.        The clause in the Chinese criminal law does not stipulate “to make a profit” is an indispensable condition defining the crime of illegal business practice. Wang has in reality disturbing the market order, thus committed the crime of Illegal Business Practice.
2.        The books printed by Wang Zaiqing are “Internal Material,” which can not be published without the permission of the News & Publication Bureau of the Province-level. Government. Wang Zaiqing never submitted any application to the relative government office before he printed the books, which is a procedural violation.
3.        The local People’s Court sentences Wang Zaiqing for the crime of Illegal Business Practices, to 2 years in prison, fine him 100,000 Yuan ($12,500.00), and confiscate all the books and printing funds.
Wang Zaiqing and his attorney have stated that they will not comply with the sentence and will appeal to a higher level People’s Court.
Dr. Li Baiguang, a prominent legal scholar on constitutional law has volunteered to be Pastor Wang’s lawyer. Dr Li is a member of the Association of Human-Rights Attorneys. He met with President Bush May 11, at the White House along with two other house church members.
The president of CAA, Rev. Bob Fu said, “This is the third time in recent history that the Chinese government has used a criminal business related charge against a house church pastor. Beijing Pastor Cai Zhuohua was sentenced to three years in prison in 2005 for printing Christian literature. This is typical of the Chinese government to persecute religious leaders by criminalizing their religious activities.”
“It’s totally unacceptable for the Chinese authorities to arrest this pious crippled pastor simply for printing Bibles. We appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will hold a press conference in Beijing Monday, October 23, at the conclusion of his visit to China, to voice his concerns on the situation of religious freedom in China.”
Please Write, call and fax to the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in US to voice your concern:
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC 20008
Tel: (202) 328-2500 Fax: (202) 588-0032

Director of Religious Affairs:
(202) 328-2512

Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, IL
Address: 100 West Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60610
Tel: (312) 803-0095
Fax: (312) 803-0110

Chinese Consulate General in Houston, TX
Address: 3417 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006
Tel: (713) 524-0780
Fax: (713) 524-7656

Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, CA
Address: 443 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Tel: (213) 807-8018
Fax: (213) 380-1961

Chinese Consulate General in New York, NY
Address: 520 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 244 9392
Fax: (212) 502 0258

Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, CA
Address: 1450 Laguna St. San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: (415) 674-2940
Fax: (415) 563-4861

Issued by China Aid on October 20, 2006 © 2006

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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