The original verdict in December of 2017 claimed that Ju Dianhong was the leader of an “evil cult” called “Three Grades of Servants” and that Liang Qin was her assistant. These two were accused of organizing secret meetings, spreading doomsday predictions, and building a secret organization.
Ms. Ju emphasized that she had never heard of the “Three Grades of Servants,” the religious sect CCP authorities accused her of leading, recruiting members, doing missionary work for, and spreading news of the apocalypse. Ms. Ju did not even know the definition of the word “cult.” She and Ms. Liang repeatedly stated that they only participated in Christian activities. In the court’s final verdict, authorities labeled Christian books like Pilgrim’s Progress and Streams in the Desert as “evil cult” materials. In her defense, Ms. Ju said:
I only believed in and preached about Jesus, never harming anyone or acting contrary to biblical principles.
Liang, a 30-year-old native of Sichuan, defended her innocence in court as well. “I do not know what that cult is, and I do not know or participate in the ‘Three Grades of Servants’ faction. I believe in Jesus. I did not cause any harm to the community and did nothing that would constitute a crime.”
Her legal counsel argued that she had not violated any laws or regulations or undermined the law in any way. Her preaching was nothing more than a normal Christian activity, wholly unaffiliated with the “Three Grades of Servants”. The books which the prosecution used as evidence of her cult involvement can be bought in many bookstores and are published by authorized presses.