Date: October 4, 2021
|A bookstore in China
(Linhai, Zhejiang Province—October 4, 2021) The 2nd trial of Zhang Xiaomai’s bookstore has been postponed again. Originally, it was scheduled for September 30, but Zhang's mother received a notice from his attorneys, informing her the 2nd trial was rescheduled due to the pandemic. At the time of writing this article, there is no date for the trial.
Officials arrested Zhang Xiaomai (originally Chen Yu), a Christian from Linhai, Zhejiang Province, in September of 2019. He owned and operated “Xiaomai Bookstore,” which sold Christian books online and in-store. He was sentenced to 7 years and given a fine of 200,000 yuan (30,000 USD). The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) confiscated 12,864 books from the store for the trial. ChinaAid sources report that the books will be destroyed.
Authorities claimed that Zhang sold over 20,000 books to over 10,000 people. The books were worth 12,820,000 yuan (1.9 million USD). Rising persecution resulted in CCP banning Christian reading materials in recent years, and the primary business of Xiaomai Bookstore was ordering Christian publications abroad for its customers.
On September 11, 2019, Zhejiang police arrested Zhang for “selling illegal religious overseas publications online.” The Ministry of Public Security notified the entire country, demanding that national security guards should contact recipients directly from shopping receipts to collect evidence. State Security officials queried over 10,000 buyers across the country. The key question in the query was if they bought Transformation of the Gospel by Pastor Wang Yi from Early Rain Covenant Church. Authorities confiscated all copies of Wang Yi’s book.
After the first trial on September 28, 2020, Zhang Xiaomai appealed against the conviction immediately. A year later, there is still uncertainty about his appeal.
Zheng Jinmei, Zhang Xiaomai’s mother, sent out an open prayer request after his first trial:
Before [Zhang Xiaoomai's] first trial, I cried every day so that I was out of strength and didn’t want to eat, but God comforted me, woke my soul up, and used a lot of brothers and sisters who we don’t know to help us and pray for us, I know that God doesn’t abandon us, thank you all! The following is my prayer:
1. May the Lord help my son’s faith and be with him so that my son knows what happened to him is the cross that God permits him to bear. God’s grace is sufficient regardless of the result.
2. May the Lord oversee prosecutors and judges of Chen Yu’s 2nd trial so that they will handle Chen Yu’s case with justice. May God’s conscience guide them.
3. A lot of changes in the faith environment in China because everyone faces enormous pressure. May the Lord reveal His works in the era and help us follow him courageously.
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