Chen Yu, owner of a Chinese Christian bookstore that operates online, has been sentenced by the government to serve seven years in prison and pay a fine of nearly $30,000 for "illegal business operations."
The People's Court of Linhai City levied the sentence against Chen last week. He was arrested in September 2019. Chen allegedly has been selling publications that are of a religious nature and not government approved. The publications supposedly were from the United States, Taiwan, and other nations.
Chen's punishment also includes confiscation of his smart phone and destruction of his stock of 12,864 books. Police have begun a search to locate Chen's customers across China, based on the bookstore's records, and will destroy the merchandise purchased from Chen's store, according to International Christian Concern.
Gina Goh, a regional manager for ICC, described how China's leaders are ramping up oppression of religious people in China.
"From religious symbols, Chinese couplets, to Christian books, anything that features religious elements is no longer tolerated by the Chinese Communist Party," Goh said.