Brother Lai Jinqiang, detained for producing electronic Bible players.
(Shenzhen, Guangdong Province—Dec. 05, 2020) On December 7, Brother Lai Jinqiang, entrepreneur from Shenzhen, Guangdong detained for more than a year and a half for producing electronic Bible players, will face the charge of “unlawful business operation” Bao’an People’s Court in Shenzhen. In 2007, Brother Lai, a Christian, and member of Evangelical Christians network, China Gospel Fellowship, and a few Christian entrepreneurs established “Gospel through the company,” producing audio Bible players. Entrepreneurs from Hong Kong provided technical support for Brother Lai and the company.
“Gospel through company” primarily produced a simplified version of audio Bible players which elderly Christians with weak visions universally welcome. After the company’s partner resigned, Brother Lai founded the “Cedar Tree Company” which, with a monthly output of 40,000 units, quickly reported the highest sales of audio Bible players in China. Brother Lai donates a portion of company profits to support the church and various gospel ministries, as well as provides housing for church gatherings. As he has participated in church ministries, the company’s audio Bible players have significantly contributed to the spread of the Bibles in Chinese churches.
Brother Lai’s case does not simply represent an economic crime case. The prosecution’s charge of “unlawful business operation” serves as a façade to cover up the authorities’ scheme of religious persecution. CCP authorities intend to suppress Christian faith groups and the spread of the Bible.
In the past, ChinaAid, currently providing legal aid to Cedar Tree Company and other organizations, has received similar cases concerning the production and sale of Bible players.
According to Pastor M (an alias for the interviewee’s safety), who knows Brother Lai, CCP authorities may have captured him to frame the pastors of China Gospel Fellowship.
“This fellowship, a crucial part of the house church network which began in 1988 in Henan Province, China,” Pastor M said, “has spread throughout different provinces in China. With millions of Christian members attending the colossal network of house churches, the CCP has imprisoned and persecuted many pastors and leaders. Nevertheless, it continues to thrive.
“The outstanding development of China Gospel Fellowship’s church ministry in Shenzhen, Guangdong has aroused authorities’ vigilance. CCP authorities have reportedly targeted one pastor of the church, Pastor X, to be in line for persecution—listed as the next target.”
Pastor M said, “Government authorities have closely monitored house churches for the previous two years. They have banned many of the churches in Henan. By Brother Lai’s sales data, the police can obtain information regarding the house church network.”
Officials have approved family members of Brother Lai to participate in the December 7 trial via video. In a recent public prayer letter, Brother Lai’s wife wrote, “Ask the righteous God to allow a just trial for Brother Lai’s case.”
As ChinaAid calls the world to pay attention to the religious rights of “China Gospel Fellowship,” and other house churches, it will continue to monitor and support legal defense for Brother Lai Jinqiang as he goes through this current trial.
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