Chinese Bible distributor sentenced to 5 Years in prison

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In 2021, Chinese authorities arrested 10 Christians for selling and distributing Bibles in Hohhot, the capital city of Inner Mongolia — an autonomous region in northern China. Just last month, a judge sentenced one of these believers to prison. 

Ban Yanhong was sentenced on April 15, 2024, to five years in prison for “illegal business operations,” or illegally selling and distributing Bibles to Christians in Inner Mongolia. 

Ban Yanhong’s husband, Ji Heying, claimed that authorities charged his wife because they considered her to be a key figure in the group. Five of the original 10 Christians have been released on bail but could still face prosecution for their role in the Bible distributions. The other four Christians are awaiting their trial.  

Originally, the 10 Hohhot Christians purchased the Bibles legally from a church in Nanjing associated with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). TSPM churches are the only legal churches in China and are controlled by the Communist government.

In Ban’s case, prosecutors argued that even though the Bibles were initially purchased legally in Nanjing, selling and distributing them in Inner Mongolia by unregistered house church members was illegal.