The matronly woman reading the Bible to a dozen solemn migrant workers in her tiny but tidy living room heads a family of dangerous political provocateurs, in the eyes of the Chinese government.
Her family’s crime: believing the state should have no role in how they follow their faith and share it with others.
It’s a belief for which 62-year-old Cai Laiyi has paid a heavy price. On Tuesday, authorities sentenced her son, Cai Zhouhua, to three years in prison for distributing free Bibles he had printed himself and for running an unregistered Protestant church. His wife, Xiao Yun Fei, along with Xiao’s brother, Xiao Gao Wen, and his wife, Hu Jin Yun, who were also arrested with him, were given 18-month terms.