Four CAG Christians Subjected to Heavy Jail Terms of 7-9 Years

Four members of the Church of Almighty God (CAG) in Henan Province were given sentences of seven to nine years in jail. The number of the electronic religious literature they kept was the focus of their sentencing.

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On the evening of May 12, 2022, the CCP police arrested CAG Christians Zhai Xinping (female, born in 1977), Yang Weihong (female, born in 1966), Zhao Guiqin (female, born in 1966) and Du Meiling (female, born in 1962) in a rented house located in Xihua County, Zhoukou City, Henan Province. On May 16, Xihua County Public Security Bureau put the four of them under residence surveillance. On May 30, the mentioned four Christians were kept under criminal custody by Xihua County Public Security Bureau on suspicion of “organizing and using a sect, cult, or superstition to undermine implementation of the law.”

Reportedly, Huaiyang District People’s Court of Henan Province’s Zhoukou City ruled that the number of the church books and literature in the storage devices belonging to the mentioned four Christians has far exceeded the criterion for “particularly serious circumstances.” On December 29, 2022, the same court gave sentences of nice years and 8 years in prison with a fine of ¥20,000 each to Zhai Xinping and Yang Weihong respectively, and seven years in prison with a fine of ¥15,000 each to Zhao Guiqin and Du Meiling who was in her 60s then, on charge of “organizing and using a cult organization to undermine the enforcement of the law” according to Article 300 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China. Zhai Xinping and others were dissatisfied with the verdict and appealed to the Intermediate People’s Court of Henan Province’s Zhoukou City who did not hold a second instance hearing on the grounds that the facts were clear, but informed them in writing only. On February 24, 2023, the same Intermediate People’s Court announced that it would uphold the original verdict.

The Church of Almighty God, a Christian new religious movement, has been heavily persecuted and brutally cracked down and listed as a “cult” by the CCP for its rapid expansion and being out of the government’s control. As per Article 300 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, anyone who is involved in a “cult organization” could be sentenced to 3-7 years in jail. But in fact, more and more CAG Christians were given jail terms as heavy as 7 years or more during the past years.

Based on recent cases, the number of religious literature (including electronic materials) kept by CAG Christians has become the focus of their sentencing. Reportedly, the doctrines of CAG is The Word Appear in the Flesh, which consists of six volumes with millions of words. The CAG has even produced thousands of hymns, videos and movies. Anyone who kept these materials will be regarded as “in particularly serious circumstances,” meaning all the Christians who want to practice their basic belief could be subjected to heavy jail terms because of their possession of any electronic religious materials that is considered as “in large quantity.”