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10/15/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – Published religious materials not approved by the government are now facing increasing scrutiny in China. The publishers will be punished, their materials confiscated.

According to Bitter Winter, on September 14, education and environmental protection bureaus in Luoyang, a prefecture-level city in the central province of Henan, inspected a local printing house to determine whether it publishes banned religious materials.

“They checked my storehouse, scrutinized all records, and even looked at paper sheets on the floor, to see if they have prohibited content,” the printing house manager told Bitter Winter. “If any such content is found, I’ll be fined, or worse, my business will be closed.”

Another local printing house also shared that “The government does not allow us to print religious materials nationwide, especially Christian,” the sales department manager added, “Anyone who takes on such orders breaks the law and might be put into prison. This is the line that we absolutely can’t cross. A printing house in the city was closed down for printing religious books, and some of its staff were arrested.”

Photocopying businesses are also unable to escape from this wave of inspection. “I don’t even dare to make copies of two sheets of hymns because of strict investigations,” an attendant at a photocopying shop in Luoyang said. “I was told to report anyone who comes to copy religious materials.”

ICC recently reported on the sentencing of Chen Yu, a Christian online bookstore owner in Zhejiang province. For selling unapproved religious publications from overseas, he was charged with “illegal business operations” and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment and a hefty fine.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].