Chinese Christian Bookstore Manager Released

A Chinese house church leader jailed since last August for receiving three tons of Bibles was recently released, according to China Aid Association (CAA).

Zhou Heng was recuperating at home after a court determined on Feb. 19 that there was not sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. Heng is also the manager of Yayi Christian Book Room, a registered bookstore that sells Christian-related books published legally inside China. His bookstore was shut down after his Aug. 31 arrest for possession of 5,184 copies of illegally published Bibles.

The Bibles were reportedly donated by South Korean churches and were intended for local believers. However, the Chinese government only allows officially sanctioned churches to print and distribute a limited number of Bibles each year.

If convicted of the charges, Heng would have received a 15-year prison sentence. According to CAA, Heng has been beaten in prison severely by other inmates and prison guards.

In a letter obtained by CAA, Heng said he wanted to thank "all sisters, brothers, and friends in China, America, Europe and all around the world ... for the care and prayers for me during the time I was arrested and put into prison."

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