Four Christians from China’s Guangdong province have reportedly been arrested for selling audio Bible players. Fu Xuanjuan, Deng Tianyong, Han Li, and Feng Qunhao were detained on 2nd July on charges of “illegal business operations”, according to Chinese persecution watchdog magazine Bitter Winter.
Mr Fu is reported to be the general manager and executive director of Life Tree Culture Communication, and Mr Deng the company’s supervisor. The company, founded in Shenzhen almost a decade ago, produces audio Bible players and is committed to spreading the Bible's messages via this medium through churches, bookstores, institutions, and sales agents at home and abroad.
The group is being held at Jiuwei Detention Center in Shenzhen, and their families have been ordered by the authorities not to share any information about the case.
It is not just the makers of the audio Bibles that are being targeted, however. One house church member from Guangdong’s Zhongshan city told Bitter Winter that he had been summoned by police last December for buying a Bible player online over a year prior - authorities obtained his information from the company’s sales record.
Last year, seven employees from the Shenzhen Cedar Electronics in China’s Guangdong province were arrested on similar grounds, indicating that the Chinese government is attempting to tighten its control on the production of audio Bibles. With heavy censorship enforced, the government-sanctioned Three-Self churches are becoming the only places where people can obtain the scriptures legally. These Bible are also often subject to redactions in accordance with official government policy.