(Beijing—Nov. 22, 2019) China is conducting a nationwide investigation into people who bought Christian texts from an online bookstore.
The owner of Wheat Bookstore, Zhang Xiaomai, was detained on Sept. 1 on suspicion of “illegal business operations.” A government-issued document accused her of buying religious publications from overseas and illegally selling them.
The store sells Bibles and other Christian materials. The store has sold more than 20,000 items to more than 10,000 people. More than 800 of those items have been classified as illegal publications.
On Oct. 29, authorities required all police departments to contact those who had purchased from Wheat Bookstore. They must also track down the materials.
In Xiamen, police took books from homes without following proper legal procedures.
In Guangzhou, more than 10 officials entered a church and confiscated some books. Later, they pressured the church’s landlord and property management company to terminate the lease.
Across China, many of those who have been interviewed by police have been monitored.