Relaymedia

Chinese Christian Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Printing and Giving Away Bibles

Jun 13, 2009 05:17 AM EDT

On June 10 (Beijing time) the Beijing Court found Christian bookstore owner and house church leader, Shi Weihan, age 38, guilty of "illegal business operation" and sentenced him to three years in prison and 150,000 Yuan fine (about $22,000 USD) for printing and distributing Bibles at no cost.

According to the law, his jail time prior to the trial counts as part of his three-year sentence time. Six others stood trial together with Shi Weihan, and also received criminal sentences. It is believed that these individuals were share holders and executives of the printing company which printed the Bibles. Read the Bill of Indictment.

The appeals process could take up to a year, while Shi Weihan would remain in prison. It is still uncertain whether the family will file an appeal due to the enormous pressure from the Public Security Bureau (PSB).

Despite his serious medical diabetic condition, the lawyers' prior applications for medical parole were never granted by the authorities.

According to friends, Shi Weihan's wife Zhang Jing is bearing much of the burden for the family. Her main concern is caring for their two daughters, 12-year-old Shi Jia and 8-year-old Shi En Mei, and continuing the house church work. Authorities continue to pressure their family.

Friends of Shi Weihan and his family ask Christians around the world to pray for the following: that Shi Weihan's health would be protected, wisdom for the family regarding whether to appeal the conviction or not, favor for a possible medical parole and God's peace and favor in these difficult circumstances.

[Source: China Aid]