A Chinese woman has reportedly been thrown in prison for hosting a Bible study in her home.
Ma Huichao was purportedly arrested along with a group of four others and was subsequently charged with three years in prison on Friday after being accused of holding the Bible study without government permission.
The charge Huichao allegedly faced? “Gathering a crowd to disturb public order,” according to China Aid, a group that works to expose human rights abuses and monitors the treatment of the Christian faith in China.
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“China Aid reports abuses, such as those suffered by Ma Huichao, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom,” reads a statement from the organization.
Watch a video documenting persecution in China below:
Huichao went on trial in mid-November, with China Aid reporting that her attorney, Li Dunyong, wasn’t permitted to plead innocent on his client’s behalf, leading her to receive a three-year prison sentence, which she reportedly began on Dec. 30.
There are currently no plans to appeal the sentence, with concern abounding about the state of religious liberty in China.
China has reportedly been increasingly cracking down on faith in the public square, accusing citizens of taking part in “evil cults,” and targeting Christian camp leaders for purportedly “brainwashing” children, as there are purportedly restrictions on teaching religion to individuals under the age of 18, the Christian Post reported.
And that’s just a sliver of what’s been happening. China currently ranks 33 out of the top 50 countries on Open Doors’ USA’s World Watch List — a list that documents where it is most difficult in the world to be a Christian.
A new set of laws approved by China’s State Council for Legislative Affairs in October places intense restrictions on faith inside the country, specifically when it comes to religious activities that aren’t approved by the state.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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