A Christian bookstore employee, Wenxi Li, and another man associated with the bookstore, Lacheng Ren, were arrested and sentenced to prison terms for their role in the Enyu Bookstore in Taiyuan. On June 17, 2013, Wenxi Li was sentenced to two years in prison by the court of Xiaodian district of Taiyuan in central China.
In 2012, Wenxi Li, a book store worker in Beijing, traveled to Shanxi province to help local Christians there open a new book store in the capital city of Taiyuan. But police raided the new business, Enyu Bookstore, and confiscated hundreds of books that Wenxi had brought with him from Beijing.
According to the South China Morning Post, one security worker allegedly shouted at Wenxi and his co-workers, “Don’t you dare bring Christian culture here. This is our turf.”
On Dec. 19, 2012, Wenxi was asked to come to a police station to retrieve the $6,000 worth of books that police had seized. But when he arrived at the police station, he was immediately arrested and sent to prison. Police were quoted as saying Wenxi was denied bail because of the seriousness of his “crime.”
His wife, Cai Hong Li, said police told her that her husband was arrested because he was involved in an “illegal business.” However, Cai Hong said the bookstore had a legal license to operate and that her husband was not involved with managing the business. He was “just sent to find a rental place for a new store,” Cai Hong said.
Since her husband’s arrest, Cai Hong said she and her two children have received harassment from anonymous sources. She added that she fears for her children’s safety.
While in prison awaiting trial, Wenxi led three people to Christ. His family is planning to appeal his case.
Wenxi Li Released Dec. 18, 2014
Wenxi Li was released as scheduled on Dec. 18, 2014. Post a prayer for him at www.icommittopray.com/request/185/wenxi-li/
Wenxi Li to be Released on Dec. 18 - Nov. 2014
Wenxi Li is currently scheduled for release from a Shanxi province prison on Dec. 18. The family is cautiously optimistic that he will be released on schedule. Since his transfer to this prison a few months ago, he has received better treatment and has been allowed to make sporadic five-minute calls to his family. His wife, Cai Hong Li, says he sounds encouraged and is in good health. Though she hopes he will rest, she told VOM staff Wenxi Li is passionate about the bookstore ministry and will likely want to return to ministry soon after he is released.
Content but in Need of Prayer - May 2014
VOM partners visited Wenxi Li’s wife in early 2014. Cai Hong Li said she is content that God is using a bad situation for His good purposes, even though the family has faced a lot of hardship as a result of her husband’s imprisonment. “I don’t think my husband being in prison is a miserable thing,” she said. She said she needs nothing but prayer from her brothers and sisters. “Prayer is the most precious thing,” she said.
Wife and Family Visited Husband
The wife of Wenxi Li reported that she and her family were able to visit with her husband in January 2014 in the central China prison where he is confined. He has been sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement with the Enyu Bookstore, a Christian book store in Taiyuan. His wife said that he is doing well and is excited because several more prisoners have become Christians. Pray that God will continue to use Wenxi Li during his prison sentence.