Christian Man Faces Trial in China For Publishing Religious Leaflets

A visiting pastor from abroad teaches at Renyi Church in Jiangmen, Guangdong, China.(China Aid)

A Christian man who used to publish religious leaflets is facing trial in China after Chinese authorities arrested him last June and charged him with "illegal business operations."

According to a report by charity group China Aid, Li Hongmin, who is a member of a house church in Guangzhou, faced a Chinese court last week, with his lawyers maintaining his innocence.

Li has been detained for four months now after Chinese authorities caught him printing religious materials, including the popular devotional "Streams in the Desert." The authorities confiscated these leaflets, and even Li's personal items such as his mobile phone.

The Christian man's trial finally pushed through after several weeks of delay. His original trial was supposed to be last Sept. 12, but it was postponed supposedly due to a lack of venue.

It was a struggle for Li's lawyers, Li Baiguang and Liu Peifu, who had to buy plane tickets to China, only to be informed that the trial proceedings had been rescheduled.

Ma Ke, the leader of Guangfu Church, which Li Hongmin attends, earlier criticised the delay in his fellow faithful's trial, considering it as an attempt to sabotage the case and to make the persecuted Christian stay in jail for a longer period of time.

"You government agents, you have to give yourself some credit, don't you? You already set a time, you can't just change it casually. It cost us a great deal to hire the lawyer and to book his flight tickets. You change the date however it suits you. You said the venue is going to be occupied, but how did you not know it wasn't available when you first scheduled the hearing?" Ma earlier told China Aid.

Li's wife meanwhile admitted that she already feels helpless in the face of the recent developments in her husband's trial.