Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!


A court in China’s Inner Mongolia province has sentenced a Christian to five years imprisonment for alleged illegal sales of bibles on behalf of a house church not affiliated with a state-run body. Source: UCA News.

The Hohhot Huimin District Court in provincial capital Hohhot found Ban Yanhong guilty of “illegal business operations” for selling bibles to the local Christian community, says a report in Bitter Winter magazine released yesterday.

Ms Ban is among 10 Christians arrested in April 2021 for distributing bibles among Christians in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in northern China.

They denied any wrongdoing, saying that they purchased the legally printed bibles from an organisation in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province.

The organisation is reportedly not affiliated with the Three-Self Church, a state-sanctioned body tasked with overseeing the affairs of all government-recognised Protestant churches in the Communist-ruled country.

Their defence lawyer argued that bibles are “legal” and that selling them did not constitute a crime as per Chinese law.

The Christians lost money instead of making any profit from sales, the unnamed lawyer said.

The defendants said their distribution was not for commercial purposes but for evangelism, as they sold bibles for 75 per cent of the price compared to 95 per cent of the original cover price, Bitter Winter reported.

Ban Yanhong’s husband, Ji Heying, said she was considered a key figure of the group and she remained in detention while others were released on bail.

Nonetheless, the bailed Christians must face court trial until a verdict is delivered, the report said.

Local Christians say the church drew the ire of the authorities for refusing to register with the Three-Self Church.

China’s Constitution recognises freedom of religion or belief, and the state considers five organised faiths – Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism – as legal religions.

However, the Chinese Communist Party has several state-run religious bodies to monitor and control legally recognised religions and religious institutes.


Chinese Christian jailed for distributing Bibles ‘illegally’ (UCA News)