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Cheng Jie and her husband,
Du Hongbo, with their young children.
Photo: Du Hongbo via ChinaAid

Having served two years in prison for allegedly "engaging in illegal business operations," the director of a church-run kindergarten in China's southern Guangxi region was released on February 17th. Cheng Jie, who provided leadership for the Hualin Foreign Language Experimental Kindergarten, was picked up after being released from prison by her husband and two young sons.

Local authorities had arrested Cheng at the school on February 18th, 2014. Four months later, on June 24th, Guangxi officials crossed the border into the neighbouring Guangdong province and detained Huang Quirui, an elder of the church that founded the kindergarten. Along with Huang, authorities detained Li Jiatao, another church member and mother of two young children; and Fang Bin, the man who was contracted to print the textbooks for the school.

Officials alleged that all four had engaged in "illegal business operations" by printing character-education textbooks without government approval, and then selling the books rather than using them solely for internal use. The lawyer defending the four detainees countered that the books were sold for an amount that only allowed the kindergarten to break even for the printing costs and that authorities were targeting the school because it was founded by a church. A previous report on this case is available here.

We can join fellow believers globally in praising God over the good news of Cheng's release, and the resulting joyful reunion she is now able to enjoy with her husband and children. As she transitions from imprisonment to resume life once again with her family and community, may Cheng experience God's wonderful work of healing and restoration. In fact, may she be granted even greater opportunities to proclaim the Gospel there in China and in many other parts of the world through the sharing of her testimony. In the meantime, please uphold Huang and Li as they await their release from prison which we trust will take place soon.