China (International Christian Concern) Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in Guangdong province recently held the appeal court for the three employees of Life Tree company: Fu Xuanjuan, her husband Deng Tianyong, and Feng Qunhao. The appeal for their “illegal business operation” charges was rejected, and the Court sustains the original ruling.
According to China Aid, the verdict reads “After investigation, based on the testimonies of the appellant and the defendants of First Instance, along with evidence such as the witnesses’ testimonies and audit reports, it is confirmed that from Jan 2018 to June 2020, Shenzhen city Life Tree Technology Development company illegally sold audio players with Bible or other religious content and obtained CNY 3661847.84 of profits.”
As a result, the appeal submitted by their lawyers was rejected and the original ruling is sustained. Fu was sentenced to five years; Deng, three years with fine; Feng, also three years with fine.
Four Christian staff of Life Tree were arrested on July 2, 2020, on charges of “illegal business operations” for selling audio Bible players. ICC reported last October that Han Li, one of the accused, was released on bail, after being detained for the equivalent duration of her sentence: 15 months.
In China’s latest crackdown against Christianity, it has become increasingly difficult to purchase a Bible online or through private sellers. One must go to the state-vetted Three Self churches to purchase Bibles. Those who sell Bibles without authorization are hit with fines or incarceration, as in the cases of Life Tree and Christian entrepreneur Lai Jinqiang, who was put on trial in Guangdong Province in December 2020 also for producing audio Bible players.