Police in southwestern China this summer sentenced a Christian teenager to three years in prison for practicing her faith, human rights magazine Bitter Winter revealed on Tuesday.
In Yunnan province, which borders Vietnam, the People’s Court of Jianshui county sentenced 19-year-old Jiang Guangmei to three years in prison on June 29.
“She was charged with ‘using a xie jiao [cult] organization to undermine law enforcement’ and also fined 3,000 RMB (about $430),’” according to the magazine. Police first arrested Jiang in September 2018 when she was 17 for writing articles about her religious experience as a member of the Church of Almighty God (CAG).
“[A]ccording to the [CAG’s] official history, the denomination whose Chinese name translates as ‘Eastern Lightning’ was founded in the belief that Christ is born again and back on Earth in the guise of a mysterious leader of the faith — a woman who may now be living in the New York metropolitan area,” the Daily Beast wrote of CAG in February. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has branded CAG a cult, or xie jiao in Mandarin, and banned the church in China.
Jiang’s crime of “writing articles about her religious experience” in CAG is an action targeted by the CCP as “a common pretext to jail members of China’s banned religious groups,” according to the report. According to Jiang’s verdict, she received her three-year prison sentence because she would not admit that practicing her faith was a crime. (Read more from “Report: China Jails Christian Teenager for Practicing Banned Religion” HERE)