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Wife Says His Bible Was Confiscated and He is Forced to Work Hard Labor
Corey Bailey, Regional Manager for Asia
International Christian Concern
Chinese Christians, Xin Xuemei and her husband Huang Qiurui are no strangers to persecution. They have suffered oppression under the hands of the government and beatings in prison that resulted in broken ribs. Despite it all they have continued to share the Gospel, distribute the Bible and continue to follow Christ. Huang Qiurui has spent the last seven months in prison for his faith without access to a Bible and suffering 11-hours a day of hard labor. While his trial continues, one his lawyers call an "illegal trial" his wife shared his story and current condition in a letter.
"On the evening of June 23, 2014, DSPS agents from Guangxi crossed the border between Guangxi and Guangdong into Guangzhou to arrest Christians," writes Xin Xuemei. "They framed my husband, charging him with the ambiguous crime of 'illegal business operations.' This is the second time in his life that he has been imprisoned. The reason my husband was framed is because he helped another church member by shipping some character-development teaching materials compiled by the church to her at a kindergarten in Liuzhou."
The kindergarten in Liuzhou was founded by Liangren Church in Guangzhou. Huang Quirui, is a church elder at the Church and has been accused of being in charge of shipping the textbooks, an act that is being called an "illegal business operation." The woman Quirui helped is Cheng Jie, a fellow church member and the director of the Hualin Foreign Language Experimental Kindergarten. Another church member, and Hong Kong national Li Jiatao has also been arrested along with Fang Bin, who is a Guangzhou-based printer. Together, the four defendants have six lawyers.
Xin Xuemei continues in her letter, "It has already been more than seven months since my husband was taken into custody. He has been detained on a long-term basis at the Liuzhou Municipal No. 1 Detention Center in Guangxi. Now, he isn't allowed to exchange letters with others. All the letters and the Bible sent to him by his relatives and church members were confiscated. In prison, he has been treated unfairly.
"Every day, he is forced to work 11 hours of hard labor. In the harsh winter, he has to drink cold water and wash himself in cold water. They decided to convict my husband and keep him from regaining his freedom so that he can never lead a church again. For this, I feel extremely pained at heart! I can only pray every day, in tears, and implore the Lord to be merciful and show His grace!
Lawyers defending four Christians for "illegal business operations" were appalled at the actions of the presiding judge who continually violated the law during the first day of trial. One lawyer for the defendant was removed from the courtroom for suggesting that the judge was biased, meanwhile the judge interrupted the other lawyers defending the Christians each time they spoke.
The next day of the trial the judge refused to allow the lawyers access to the trial transcript, despite that this action violated the law. "We protested immediately," defendant Cheng Jie's lawyer Ge Yongxi said. "I raised my hand in protest. I said to the judge that the most important thing we should do in this courtroom is to let the defendants have their right to a proper defense... You can't make such a decision [to not allow the lawyers' access to the transcript] in a hurry and shouldn't think that you can sentence the defendants to whatever you like. This would be a violation of the law and a crime." In response to this, the judge kicked five of the six lawyers out of the courtroom. "Now, they are trying to go ahead with the court trial without us," said Ge."They are engaging in an illegal trial."
As the Christian community for a fair trial and awaits the outcome, Xin has a message for people, especially Christians, around the world. "I hope all of you who are far away from us know the true situation that Chinese house churches find themselves in and the truth about religious persecution in China so that you can become the ambassadors of God and the courageous fighters in prayers! Amen!"
For interviews, contact Corey Bailey, Regional Manager for Asia: RM-Asia@persecution.org
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