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12/19/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – A Chinese Christian online bookstore owner who was arrested and charged with “illegal business operations” last year recently testified at his appeal court.

According to China Aid,  Chen Yu, the owner of Wheat Bookstore, and his lawyer Deng Qinggao pleaded not guilty and made statements in court. Chen’s parents also attended the trial. The result of the second instance is currently pending decisions.

On September 1, 2019, Chen, who operated his online bookstore in Zhejiang province’s Taizhou city, was detained for selling unapproved religious publications imported from Taiwan, the US, and other countries. Consequently, the police launched a nationwide investigation to track down the bookstore’s customers through sale records and confiscated their purchased books.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 200,000 RMB ($29,450 USD) on September 27 the same year. The 12,864 Christian books from his bookstore were also destroyed by the Linhai City Public Security Bureau.

On December 10, 2021, Chen Yu’s mother, Zheng Jinmei, received Chen Yu’s second letter since the last one in July. She revealed that Chen Yu was not bitter, nor did he complain in the letter. She recently fell ill but was greatly comforted and encouraged by her son’s letter.

She said, “May God use my son’s letter, and I hope it resonated with everyone. Whether imprisoned or not, we believe that the wondrous Holy Spirit will be with those incarcerated; their lives will be held up high.”

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