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CHINA: Religious persecution and issues, bimonthly digest Jan 01-15

CHINA: Religious persecution and issues, bimonthly digest Jan. 01-15

 

General

06.01.2023 – Prison art from China’s Ming Dynasty reflects a restriction of religious freedom

Ying Zhang, associate professor of history at Ohio State University, is exploring the connections among prison, art and religious freedom in a unique and meaningful way.

Zhang’s Nov. 1 lecture at The American Academy in Berlin accompanies her book “Confucians and Confinement: Imprisoned Officials in Ming China (1368-1644).” It’s the first book-length study of prison culture in premodern China, and it offers new insight on how religion adapts, how art helps express spirituality and the effects of imprisonment on the modern idea of religious freedom.

Continue reading…

 

03.01.2023 – USCIRF charges China’s authorized religious bodies as communist party accomplices

According to sociologist Fenggang Yang’s famous distinction, China’s religion is organized according to three “markets.” The “red market” includes the five authorized religions: five government-controlled bodies that constitute the only legal religious organizations in China. They are the Three-Self Church for Protestants, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association for Catholics, the China Daoist Association for Daoists, the China Islamic Association for Muslims, and the China Buddhist Association for Buddhists.

Continue reading…

 

Buddhists

05.01.2023 – China will interfere with Dalai Lama succession: Tibet’s President-in-exile

China is expected to interfere in the succession of the Dalai Lama, and anticipating that eventuality, the Tibetan government-in-exile has worked out a plan for a democratic transition of the leadership role by the spiritual .

In an interview to PTI, President of the Tibetan government-in-exile Penpa Tsering pointed out that a replay of the 1995 appointment of a rival Panchen Lama by the Communist government of China while a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as the incarnate of the Lama was whisked away from the public eye, can be expected.

Continue reading…

 

Catholics

06.01.2023 – Benedict XVI’s “Non-negotiable principles” for a dialogue with China

When the Holy See and China were getting ready to sign the Vatican-China deal of 2018, later renewed twice in 2020 and 2022, Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, published on his blog a very harsh attack against Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. He accused him of manipulating Benedict XVI’s “Letter to the Bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful of the Catholic Church in the People’s Republic of China” of May 27, 2007, and even falsifying its text.

Continue reading….

 

Protestants

14.01.2023 – Armed Police demolish Nangang church overnight

On the evening of January 11, the Ruian County government of Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province forcibly demolished the Nangang Church, located in Nangang Village, Feiyun Street, to build commercial buildings. The church covered an area of ​​8 acres. A church worth tens of millions of RMB was ordered to be demolished at night without an agreed compensation plan.

Continue reading…

 

11.01.2023 – Qingcaodi Church: Wives raise concerns for imprisoned husbands

Cui Yanqin and Yang Yufeng, the wives of elders Wu Jiannan and Hao Ming respectively, posted on social media concerning their husbands. Wu Jiannan and Hao Ming served as elders of Qingcaodi Church in Deyang.

In her open letter, Cui Yanqin explained that she is a stay home mom taking care of two kids. Around 2017, Cui Yanqin joined Wu Jiannan to move hundreds of miles from Anhui province to Deyang city. Before, she was a teacher in the countryside. Even though Deyang was a small city, they liked it and found the locals to be kind. Cui Yanqin wrote that she and Wu cooperated with all kinds of projects in the neighborhood, which can be verified by the Hualian Neighborhood.

Continue reading…

 

09.01.2023 – Detained leaders of Church of Abundance accused of “Violating National Security”

The spouses’ appeal of January 3.

Yet another appeal has been circulated on January 3, 2023, by the spouses of the detained leaders of the Church of Abundance (Fengsheng) of Xi’an city, Shaanxi province.

The wives of Pastor Lian Changnian and Brother Lian Xuliang, and the husband of Sister Fu Juan report that their spouses are still detained in government-designated residences and are now accused of “endangering national security” in addition to “religious fraud”.

Continue reading…

 

06.01.2023 – Christian persecution highlighted in open letter to Chinese mayor

Tan Xiuhong, a Christian attorney, wrote an open letter to Li Yunfeng, the mayor of Linfen City, Shanxi province. Tan addressed the massive arrests of Christians in Linfen over the past couple of years and called on local authorities to stop Christian persecution.

On December 31, 2022, Tan Xiuhong wrote to Mayor Li, admitting Li must experience a lot of difficulties and hard times while governing Linfen, a city of four million, during COVID. However, before the new year, Tan candidly expressed “Authorities of Linfen City should stop persecuting Christian churches and immediately release detained Christians.” The culture-rich city became notorious in China for its massive arrests of Christians. She gave examples of incidents related to Christianity that happened in Linfen in the past two years:

Continue reading…

 

03.01.2023 – ‘There is no deceit’: Mother of Li Jie defends son amidst fraud charges.

Police arrested Preacher Li Jie of Linfen Covenant House Church on suspicion of “fraud.” Li Jie’s 65-year-old mother Zhang Ruxin posted on the Chinese social media app Weibo airing grievances for her son and calling for international media attention.

Continue reading…

 

02.01.2023 – Chen Ziliang passes in detention center.

Chen Ziliang, a member of the China Democracy Party’s Zhejiang Preparatory Committee, passed away on December 24, 2022, while in custody at the Jinyun County Detention Center in Lishui, Zhejiang province.

 

THE NOTICE FROM POLICE

The Jinyun County Public Security Bureau informed the family that “on the morning of December 24, Chen Ziliang was found to be in critical condition at the detention center. The detention center sent Chen Ziliang to The First People’s Hospital of Jinyun County. In the afternoon of the same day, Chen Ziliang passed away after the failure to rescue.”

Continue reading…

 

Falun Gong

14.01.2023 – Shandong woman secretely sentenced for her faith, elderly parents deprived of care. 

A police officer was held in a brainwashing center for three months. After he was released, he was forced to retire early and placed under strict surveillance, all because of his faith in Falun Gong.

Mr. Yan Ji, an Anlu City, Hubei Province, resident in his 50s, was arrested at work on May 24, 2022. Agents from the 610 Office and Domestic Security Office first said that they needed to talk to him. But before he could respond, they pushed him outside and into the police car.

Continue reading…

08.01.2023 – Reported in 2022: 633 Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith

A total of 633 cases of Falun Gong practitioners being sentenced for their faith were recorded in 2022. The newly confirmed cases included 21 (4%) that took place between 2013 and 2020, 166 (26%) cases in 2021 and 446 (70%) cases in 2022.

Due to strict information censorship in China, such cases can’t always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.

Continue reading…

 

07.01.2023 – Former College professor given third prison sentence for talking to people about her faith

Since 2008, a former college professor has been sentenced three times for her faith in Falun Gong, with each arrest taking place only a few months after she finished the previous prison term.

Ms. Wang Jiafang, a 58-year-old Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province resident, was most recently arrested on September 10, 2021 while talking to people about Falun Gong outside of a mall. She was held at the Baiyun District Detention Center and had her arrest approved by the Baiyun District Procuratorate on September 25.

Continue reading…

 





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CHINA: Religious persecutions and issues. Bimonthly news digest

CHINA: Religious persecutions and issues. Bimonthly news digest (16-31.12.2022)

 

General

19.12.2022 – Technological authoritarianism: USCIRF examines Chines religious freedom

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) conducted a virtual hearing regarding China’s violations of religious freedom. Commissioners invited Bob Fu, Founder and President of ChinaAid, to speak about the exiled Mayflower Church and how Chinese authorities extend their technological authoritarianism.

 

Other guests and panelists included other experts like Yaqiu Wang, Senior China Researcher for Human Rights Watch; Buhchung K. Tsering, Interim President of International Campaign for Tibet; Louisa Greve, Director of Global Advocacy for Uyghur Human Rights Project; and Zack Smith, Legal Fellow from the Heritage Foundation. USCIRF provided the following summary regarding the virtual hearing:

Continue reading…

 

Buddhists

30.12.2022 – Tibetan writer held by China for ‘discussing’ Dalai Lama

A prominent Tibetan writer who disappeared last year in Chinese custody was arrested for taking part in politically sensitive discussions about Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Radio Free Asia has learned.

Rongwo Gangkar, author of such popular works as The Knot and An Interview With Gendun Choephel, a collaboration with other writers, was taken into custody in western China’s Qinghai province more than a year ago, a source living in the region said.

“He was arrested by the Chinese government for initiating a discussion about the Dalai Lama at a gathering,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons. “He was talking about how his Holiness’s birthday and other important events related to the Dalai Lama should be celebrated.”

Continue reading…

 

Uyghurs

 

26.12.2022 – Chinese attack a “Lonely Uyghur” demonstration in Amsterdam, police investigates

On December 18, I spoke with the Dutch police on the phone about an incident that happened last month. The police officers said they are on the case and will call me for an interview soon.

What happened, exactly? My protests finally attracted the attention of the Chinese, and a reaction followed.

On November 24, 44 Uyghurs died due to a fire breakout in Urumqi, East Turkistan (Ch. Xinjiang), while China was in a harsh Zero-COVID mode. China had imposed a strict lockdown in the region and residents had been prevented from getting out of their houses for over a hundred days.

Continue reading…

 

Protestants

 

27.12.2022 – Pastor Hao Zhiwei: 8-year prison sentence confirmed on appeal

This month, the appeal against the decision sentencing Pastor Hao Zhiwei to eight years in jail for “fraud” was dismissed. The first-degree decision, rendered by the Echeng District Court of the prefecture-level city of Ezhou, Hubei Province, on February 11, 2022, was one of the first based on the legal theory that, if a religious community is not part of one of the five authorized religions, it is a “false” religious organization and those who receive donations on its behalf commit the crime of fraud.

Continue reading…

 

23.12.2022 – Golden Lampstand Church: 16 months without trial

On December 23, Gold Lampstand Church disclosed that 12 Christians of the church, including Pastor Wang Xiaoguang and Minister Yang Rongli, were arrested on suspicion of “fraud” over 16 months ago without trial.

On August 7, 2021, public security arrested 12 Christians of Gold Lampstand Church in Linfen city and gave them 15-day detentions. 15 days later, police continued to criminally detain them on suspicion of “fraud” because of the tithe and offerings the church received. The case was transferred to the court in March 2022. Nine months passed, and the trial is not scheduled.

Continue reading…

 

23.12.2022 – Mother of four released from prison

Wang Liqin, the wife of renowned Chinese poet Wang Zang, returned home 10 days ago after serving her sentence. She seems to be in good health.

Chengdu lawyer Lu Siwei lost his lawyer’s license during his time as Wang Zang’s defense lawyer. Lawyer Lu, who is familiar with the family’s situation, confirmed the news that Wang Liqin returned home after serving her sentence. Lu Siwei expressed: “Wang Liqin returned home. We just had a phone call. She is in good condition. Because she doesn’t have a cellphone, it’s inconvenient to contact her. I’ll let everyone know when she has one.”

Continue reading…

 

21.12.2022 – Trial of Zhao Weikai ends without public verdict

On December 15, Shanxi Province Lvliang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court held the trial of Zhao Weikai, a coworker of Zion Reformed. He stood accused of “illegally possessing terrorism and extremism items.” The presiding judge interrupted Zhao’s testimony on the pretext that it was “not related” to the evidence in the case. Li Xin, Zhao Weikai’s wife, disclosed that seven strangers attended the trial and her husband looked well.

Continue reading…

 

16.12.2022 – Chinese Christians compelled to honor deceased CCP leader Jiang Zemin

Jiang Zemin, who was the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1989 to 2002, and the President of the People’s Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, died on November 30, 2022.

He was greatly honored by Xi Jinping and the CCP, which is of course not surprising. More surprising is that the government-controlled Three-Self Church, the only legal Protestant body in the country, called all Christians to remember and commemorate him. On December 6, national leaders of the Three-Self Church gathered in Shanghai to watch together the Memorial Conference for Jiang Zemin. Instructions to do the same were sent to all churches nationwide.

Continue reading…

 

16.12.2022 – Fleeing persecution in China: Christian Congregation takes refuge in Thailand, hopes for asylum in the US

Three years ago, 62 members of the China’s Shenzhen Reformed Holy Church, also known as the Mayflower Church, fled to South Korea to escape persecution from the Communist government. They requested political asylum in South Korea, but were denied.

The church is now in Thailand, where members hope to gain refugee status, and eventually resettle in the United States. Until then, they face many challenges, including possible arrest by Thailand immigration police and being sent back to China.

Continue reading…

 

Falun Gong

25.12.2022 – Police Officer held in brainwashing center and forced to retire due to his faith in Falun Gong

A police officer was held in a brainwashing center for three months. After he was released, he was forced to retire early and placed under strict surveillance, all because of his faith in Falun Gong.

Mr. Yan Ji, an Anlu City, Hubei Province, resident in his 50s, was arrested at work on May 24, 2022. Agents from the 610 Office and Domestic Security Office first said that they needed to talk to him. But before he could respond, they pushed him outside and into the police car.

Continue reading…

 

23.12.2022 – Heilongjiang Woman convicted for helping a blind person read Falun Gong books

A Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province resident was sentenced to ten months in late November 2022 for helping a local blind resident read the teachings of Falun Gong.

Ms. Qin, 59, used to suffer from severe heart conditions before taking up Falun Gong. Thanks to the practice, she didn’t only regain her health but also became a more considerate person. She often volunteered to clean the hallway in her apartment building and never sought anything in return.

After the communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, she was repeatedly arrested. While she was in custody, the police slapped her in the face, handcuffed her and forced her to sit in a metal chair for long hours.

Continue reading…

 

18.12.2022 – Woman invited to appear on Talk Show to expose possible forced organ harvesting from her father in China

“When I saw my father’s body, I could not believe it was real – he was emaciated and covered with bruises. One large area of skin was missing from his face and he had many injuries,” recalled 37-year-old New York resident Ms. Han Yu about her father on the Rick Jensen talk show on December 13.

Ms. Han’s father, Mr. Han Junqing, was a Falun Gong practitioner in Doudian Town of Fangshan District, Beijing. He was arrested in February 2004 for upholding his faith and died three months later, on May 4. The police cremated his body against his family’s will.

Continue reading…

 

 

 





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CHINA: Religion and persecution issues – FORB newsletter Dec. 1-15

CHINA: Religion and persecution issues – Bimonthly newsletter Dec.1-15

 

 General

12.12.2022 – Chinese anti-cult (and anti-religious) propaganda adopts new style

The China Anti-Xie-Jiao association has unveiled on different websites and social media its new series of posters against banned religious movements labeled as “xie jiao.” As readers of Bitter Winter know, “xie jiao” is officially translated in English-language Chinese documents as “evil cults,” but has been used for more than a thousand years in China to indicate “heterodox teachings” the government does not approve of.

Continue reading…

 

Catholics

06.12.2022 – CCP violates the China-Vatican agreement

The Holy See’s Press Office issued a statement on November 26 condemning Beijing for installing a bishop in a diocese not recognized by the Holy See. The Vatican accused the Chinese authorities of violating the Vatican-China bishop appointment agreement. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on November 28 that it had no knowledge of the “specific circumstances.” All the evidence shows that Beijing is not bound by the Holy See and the Vatican-China bilateral agreement on the appointment of bishops and will not respect the Vatican’s right to appoint bishops.

Continue reading…

 

Buddhists

13.12.2022 – Butchers of Tibetan Buddhists and of Falun Gong Practitioners sanctioned by the U.S.

On the eve of Human Rights Day, December 10, the U.S. Department of State announced sanctions against five Chinese individuals responsible for gross human rights violations, perpetrated in particular against Tibetan Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners. Those sanctioned are prohibited from entering the United States and their assets in the country, if any, are frozen.

Tang Yong is the former deputy director of the Chongqing Area Prisons. He has been sanctioned for violating human rights of Falun Gong practitioners, which of course, the Department of State says, is also a violation of freedom of religion. In 2020, the U.S. had already sanctioned Huang Yuanxiong, director of the Wucun Police Station of the Xiamen Municipal Public Security Bureau, and in 2021 Yu Hui, former director of the Anti-Xie-Jiao Office in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, for having seriously violated the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners.

Continue reading…

 

Protestants

 

15.12.2022 – Elder Qin Defu of Early Rain released

On December 9, Elder Qin Defu was released from prison after serving his four-year sentence.

Four years prior, Chengdu police raided Early Rain Covenant Church while violently apprehending over 100 congregants. They confiscated church property and shut down the building with its private school and library. Among the believers arrested was Elder Qin Defu and Pastor Wang Yi. This massive, brutal arrest is widely referred as the “129” crackdown Not long before these events, Wang Yi published a joint statement of faith; a statement signed by over 400 house church pastors and leaders. The 129 crackdown sent shockwaves across China, affecting every church associated with the joint statement.

Continue reading…

 

13.12.2022 – Falsely accused elders could face severe penalties

Qingcaodi Church disclosed in an open letter that the case that Hao Ming, a former elder of the church, and Wu Jiannan, the incumbent elder of the church, may be punished severely. Deyang City Jingyang District Court falsely accused both of fraud, which could entail a $71,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.

Elder Hao Ming, 65 years old, and Elder Wu Jiannan were taken away by police on November 17, 2021. They were criminally detained two days later on suspicion of “fraud” by police. Last Christmas, the families of Elders Hao Ming and Wu Jiannan received their arrest notice with an official indictment of fraud.

Continue reading…

 

08.12.2022 – David Lin: China promises to free in 2030 American Pastor detained since 2006

An American pastor has been detained in China since 2006. The U.S. administration’s efforts to have him released have now achieved a result, as in the eve of the Biden-Xi Jinping meeting in Bali the pastor had his life imprisonment penalty reduced to 24 years, meaning he should be free in 2030.

Continue reading…

 

07.12.2022 – Trial for Zion reformed member postpones, wife calls for actions

Zhao Weikai, a coworker of Zion Reformed Church, has not been tried since authorities arrested him for terrorism on July 7.

Zhao Weikai, 36 years old, is a coworker at Zion Reformed Church and a close friend with Minister An Yankui. They attended West China Seminary together and returned to Taiyuan to do ministry together. Zhao Weikai and his wife Li Xin decided to homeschool their three children to avoid atheistic brainwashing in public education. The local Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, Bureau of Education, and national security officers asked to speak with the couple multiple times. They threatened to send the kids to public school and arrest Zhao, but he refused to comply.

Continue reading…

 

05.12.2022 – Secret trial held for elder Zhang Chunlei

On November 29, Guiyang Municipal People’s Intermediate Court secretly held the trial of Ren’ai Reformed Elder Zhang Chunlei. Authorities suspected him of fraud and inciting subversion of state power. Yang Aiqing, his wife, was prohibited from attending the trial even though she submitted the application for attending in advance. The trial lasted over 6 hours, from 9:30 AM-4:00 PM. The entrance of the court was so heavily guarded that even security staff said that they never witnessed the massive show of force. Some congregants of Ren’ai Reformed were followed, and others waited at the entrance but were removed by sub–district personnel.

Continue reading…

 

Falun Gong

13.12.2022 – Torture method used in a prison and a labor camp in Jilin Province: spreading salt onto open wounds

Many practitioners have been subjected to various forms of torture since the Chinese Communist Party launched a brutal persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.

Both Gongzhuling Prison and the now defunct Chaoyanggou Labor Camp in Jilin Province used one particular torture to make practitioners suffer even more – rubbing salt into open wounds. This method was used repeatedly on wounds that were about to heal. Practitioners were also shocked with electric batons on their wounds and anus area.

Continue reading…

 

10.12.2022 – Once incarcerated 15 years, former energy department chief gets another five years for his faith

A Meizhou City, Guangdong Province, resident was recently sentenced to five years and fined 50,000 yuan for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Xie Hanzhu, 60, and the former deputy chief of the local energy department, was arrested at home on October 20, 2021. His Falun Gong books and some cash were confiscated.

Continue reading…

 

06.12.2022 – Recent torture cases of Falun Gong practitioners in the Hulan prison

Since the onset of the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, the authorities in Heilongjiang Province have actively followed the communist regime in torturing the practitioners in order to force them to renounce their faith.

One of the torture facilities is the Hulan Prison, which is designated for those sentenced to heavy terms and death row inmates. A total of 17 torture deaths have been recorded since 1999. Except for three practitioners in their 70s and one practitioner whose age is unknown, most of the practitioners were still in their primes when they died.

Continue reading…

 

05.12.2022 – Heilongjiang woman faces financial devastation after serving second prison term for her faith

A former teacher in Muling Town, Heilongjiang Province has had her pension suspended since July 2020, two years after she finished serving four years for her faith in Falun Gong.

In addition to the financial persecution and latest prison sentence, Ms. Gao Xiurong has previously been given one and a half years of forced labor and sentenced to three years.

Ms. Gao isn’t the only member in her family who has been persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. Her father and mother both succumbed to the mental distress and passed away in 2007 and 2017, respectively. Her brother died ten days after he was arrested in 2016.

Continue reading…

Protestants in pretrial detention (in addition to HRWF database of Protestants sentenced to prison terms)

 Hao Ming

Wu Jiannan

Zhao Weikai

Zhang Chunlei

 

 





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CHINA: Religious persecution issues, Bimonthly Digest, Nov. 16-30

CHINA: Religious persecutions and issues, bimonthly Digest FORB (16-30.11.2022)

 

Catholics

28.11.2022 – Vatican: China breached the agreement—But we will continue with it

Officially, the Vatican line, reaffirmed by Pope Francis himself, is that the Vatican-China deal of 2018 “is good,” is slowly producing its fruits, and renewing it twice in 2020 and 2022 was the right thing to do.

“Officially” is the operative word here. Because “unofficially” the Vatican is well aware that China manipulates the agreement for its own purposes, and breaches it when it deems it fit. Now, the cat is out of the bag.

Continue reading…

 

28.11.2022 – China vows more ‘friendly consensus’ amid Vatican complaints

Beijing and the Vatican are once again tangling over the prickly issue of appointing Chinese bishops.

After complaints from the Vatican that Beijing was violating a 2018 interim accord, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday said the country is willing to expand the “friendly consensus” achieved with the Vatican over bishop nominations.

The Vatican issued an unusually harsh statement Saturday complaining that Beijing on Nov. 24 had installed Bishop John Peng Weizhao as an auxiliary bishop in the province of Jiangxi, which the Vatican doesn’t recognize as a diocese.

Continue reading…

 

26.11.2022 – In rare public protest, Vatican calls out China over bishop’s appointment

For the first time since brokering a controversial deal with China on the appointment of bishops four years ago, the Vatican Saturday called out Beijing for violating the terms of the accord by installing a bishop in a diocese not recognized by Rome.

John Peng Weizhao was clandestinely appointed bishop of the papally recognized Diocese of Yujiang by Pope Francis in 2014, four years before the Vatican struck its provisional agreement with China in 2018. As a so-called “underground” prelate, Peng Weizhao was arrested and held by Chinese authorities for six months. He was eventually released, but his ministry was closely monitored by local authorities.

Continue reading…

 

22.11.2022 – China wants to “sinicise” its Catholics

When the Vatican signed a deal with China in 2018 on the appointment of bishops, the pact was denounced by a former leader of the Catholic church in Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen. He said it would legitimise the Communist Party’s control over Chinese Catholics, and be like “giving the flock into the mouths of the wolves”. The flock has not yet been devoured, but the grip of the government’s jaw has been tightening. The authorities have accelerated a campaign to “sinicise” the church by making its buildings, art and rituals look more Chinese and, crucially, its followers more loyal to the party. Catholics in Hong Kong are in their sights, too.

Continue reading…

 

Protestants

28.11.2022 – Minister An Yankui and Zhang Chenghao released

Minister An Yankui and coworker Zhang Chenghao of Zion Reformed Church were released after serving their sentence. Yao Congya, An Yankui’s wife, disclosed that the two ministers could not return to their home and reunite with their wives due to the pandemic lockdown, so they went to their hometown first and waited there. An and Zhang were slimmer than before but seemed to be in high spirits. After going back to his hometown, An Yankui communicated with his wife, son, and daughter via video chat. Minister An Yankui wrote hymns, composed music and wrote lyrics during his imprisonment.

Continue reading…

 

22.11.2022 – Linfen Covenant House Church shut down

Linfen City Yaodu District Bureau of Civil Affairs announced on its website that they shut down Linfen Covenant House Church and Asilan School run by the church. Their announcement from November 16 stated that the church and school did not register with the government and organized events in the name of NGO without authorization, thus making it illegal.

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21.11.2022 – Covenant home church banned in Shanxi

.On November 16, 2022, the Civil Affairs Bureau of Yaodu District, Linfen City published an official notice banning Covenant Home Church and its school, citing unauthorized religious and educational activities.

Bitter Winter reported last August that on August 19, some 70 members of the Covenant Home Church were attending a parent-children camp that was raided by armed police. Some 170 police officers participated in the raid. Pastor Li Jie, his wife Li Shanshan, and Elder Han Xiaodong were detained and later placed under residential surveillance. Bibles, Christian books, and church documents were confiscated.

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16.11.2022 – Chirstian stands trial today for ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’

Long Kehai, a Christian from Gansu Province, will be in court today for the crime of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” Lawyer Zhang Keke received the notice to appear in court on November 15. The letter requires lawyer Zhang to attend the trial at the No. 1 Trial Chamber of Hui County People’s Court of Gansu Province at 9:00 am on the 16th.

Chen Zijuan is the wife of another detained human rights lawyer in Shaanxi Chang Weiping. She appealed to everyone on social media to take notice of Long Kehai’s case, who was arrested following the trial of her husband.

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Falun Gong

28.11.2022 – Wuhan City, Hubei Province: Twelve Falun Gong practitioners held for months in eight brainwashing centers

According to information collected by the Minghui website, at least twelve Falun Gong practitioners in Wuhan City, Hubei Province are still being held at eight different brainwashing centers as of November 2022, with one practitioner having been detained for fourteen months.

Ms. Zhou Ailin, 54, a former auditor at the Qiaokou District Industrial and Commercial Bureau, was arrested on September 14, 2021 for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was held for 15 days at the Wuhan City No. 1 Lockup. When she was released on September 29, 2021, the police stopped her at the gate, carried her into a police car, and took her to the Etouwan Brainwashing Center, where she has since been held.

Continue reading…

 

22.11.2022 – First-hand witness of torture of Falun Gong practitioners in Heilongjiang Province women’s prison

Since the Chinese communist regime launched the nationwide campaign against Falun Gong, a traditional mind-body practice, in 1999, the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison has been actively participating in the persecution.

I witnessed and experienced the brutal persecution firsthand when I was imprisoned there a few years ago for practicing Falun Gong.

There were 14 wards in the prison during the time I was there, with the 9th and 11th wards specifically set up to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners. Both wards had a number of divisions for practitioners with different levels of persistence in upholding their faith. The other inmates monitored us all the time, including when we used the restroom. We weren’t allowed to talk among ourselves.

Continue reading…

 

18.11.2022 – One month after daughter’s persecution death, mother sentenced to 3.5 years for their shared faith

Ms. Bai Xingwen’s oldest daughter died at 45 in October 2022 as a result of the persecution of their shared faith in Falun Gong. One month later, Ms. Bai, a Gongying City, Shandong Province resident in her late 60s, was sentenced to 3.5 years.

Ms. Bai and two of her three daughters, Ms. Ji Yingmei and Ms. Ji Yingping, were arrested on July 15, 2021, after the police suspected Ms. Bai of putting up a Falun Gong banner two months earlier, on May 8.

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17.11.2022 – Current status of the nine Fuyang City, Anhui Province, residents who were sentenced for their faith

Nine residents of Fuyang City, Anhui Province, were sentenced to prison on February 3, 2021, for practicing Falun Gong. Three of them have been released after serving their terms; five of them are still serving time in two different prisons; and the remaining practitioner is being held in a detention center.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

The nine practitioners were arrested on June 12 and July 22, 2020. Many of their Falun Gong informational materials and the supplies they used to print the materials were confiscated. They were tried and convicted in the Linquan County Court on February 3, 2021.

Continue reading…

 

 





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CHINA : Special bimonthly freedom of religion or belief (01-15.09.2022)

CHINA : Special bimonthly freedom of religion or belief (01-15.09.2022)

General

12.09.2022 – China targets religion on radio, TV and internet

Communist China is moving ahead to adopt a new regulation for radio, television, and online programs that strictly bans among other things all forms of dissent and unauthorized religious content that threatens to disrupt “social order” and negate “socialist culture,” says a report.

The State Administration of Radio and Television published the draft regulation titled: “Provisions on the Administration of Radio, Television, and Online A/V Program Production and Business” last month and asked all for “soliciting comments” by Sept 8, Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights reported Sept. 9.

Continue reading…

 

Buddhists

01.09.2022 – Two Tibetan monks sentenced for possessing photos of Dalai Lama

Chinese authorities sentenced two Tibetan monks to at least three years in prison for possessing photos of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s foremost Buddhist spiritual leader who has been living in exile since 1959, RFA has learned.

RFA reported in December 2021 that Tenzin Dhargye, a monk in his 30s, had been arrested in September 2020, and sources said that several other monks had been arrested along with him. RFA has since learned that Rigtse, whose age is unknown, was among them. Tenzin Dhargye got three years and six months; Rigtse was sentenced to three years.

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Protestants

04.09.2022 – Churches in China facing ‘toughest persecution since Cultural Revolution ‘ says Christian charity

The charity Release International is warning of a renewed crackdown against churches in China.

The charity which serves the persecuted church, says Chinese authorities have been arresting pastors and shutting down congregations as part of a crackdown on religion ordered by President Xi Jinping in December 2021.

It says that police raids are being carried out with such ferocity that, according to reports, two women in a single congregation collapsed and had to be taken to hospital.

 

Partners of Release International have also compiled disturbing video evidence of raids on Sunshine Reformed Church in Jilin Province.

Continue reading…

 

05.09.2022 – China renews crackdown on churches

China is cracking down on churches with reports of pastors being arrested and congregations being shut down.

Release International said the crackdown on the Church is part of a “get-tough policy” on religion ordered by Chinese President Xi Jinping last December.

He is reported to have ordered that churches be forced to “adhere to Marxist religious views”, and called for the stricter enforcement of religion laws.

“His aim is to bring China’s religious minorities under ever-tighter state control,” said Release International.

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Catholics

 

13.09.2022 – Local authorities demolish Gothic-Styled cathedral for developing city

The Gothic-style cathedral of the Beihan Catholic Church of the Catholic Diocese of Taiyuan has been demolished by local authorities as a direct result of a new urban area development project by the government. On August 25, the Diocese of Taiyuan’s Beihan Catholic Church complex was torn down first, and the remaining 40-meter-high bell tower was blasted in a coordinated demolition.

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Falun Gong

15.09.2022 – Wang Xinmin: Veteran Falun Gong prisoner sentenced again

Wang Xinmin is a good example of how Falun Gong practitioners, once identified and arrested for the first time by the Chinese police, face the alternative between renouncing their faith and spending most of their future life in jail.

73-year-old Wang Xinmin, who used to work as a senior agronomist at Heilongjiang Tobacco Research Institute, was born in 1949 in Mudanjiang city, Heilongjiang province. He joined Falun Gong in the 1990s, and was arrested on October 22, 2003, together with his wife and daughter. He was sentenced to 14 years in jail for “using” a xie jiao, i.e., for being active in a banned religious movement.

Continue reading…

13.09.2022 – Man sentenced to 8 years for posting information about Falun Gong on WeChat

A Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province resident was sentenced to eight years by a court in nearby Henan Province for posting information about Falun Gong on WeChat, a popular social media platform in China.

Mr. Sun Wanshuai, an art teacher in his 50s, was arrested at home on December 3, 2020, by internet police from Luoyang City, Henan Province, about 600 miles away. His computer and cell phone were confiscated. The police claimed that he sent sensitive information about Falun Gong on WeChat and took him to Luoyang.

Continue reading…

 

10.09.2022 – 82 year-old-Hebei man jailed for 4.5 years for his faith

Mr. Yang Shaobao, 82, was released on August 11, 2022, after serving 4.5 years for raising awareness about his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Yang was arrested on July 22, 2017 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. His Falun Gong books, Falun Gong magazine and an mp3 were confiscated.

Although the police released Mr. Yang shortly after, they kept coming back to harass him and ransacked his home a few more times. Mr. Yang was tried by the Beidaihe Court on April 4, 2018 and sentenced to 4.5 years at the Jidong Prison in June.





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CHINA: Special bimonthly Newsletter Freedom of religion or belief

CHINA:Special bimonthly FoRB newsletter (15-31.08.2022)

 


Buddhists

26.08.2022 – Two monks sentenced to prison for challenging Chinese government propaganda

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) strongly condemns the sentencing of two monks, Tenzin Dhargay and Rigtse, to prison for merely exercising the right to freedom of expression, a right protected in the Chinese Constitution as well as in major international human rights instruments that the government of People’s Republic of China is party to.

Dhargay and Rigtse are from Bharong Village in Sershul (Ch: Shiqu) County, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the traditional Dzachuka area in Kham province. Dhargay is a monk from the Dza Sershul Monastery.

Both monks had been detained incommunicado for almost two years and sentenced on an unknown date in June this year.

Continue reading…

 

25.08.2022 – Chinese authorities arrest Tibetan man for having a photo of the Dalai Lama

Chinese authorities in Tibet have detained a Tibetan man for possessing a picture of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s foremost Buddhist spiritual leader who has been living in exile since 1959, RFA has learned.

Karma Samdup, of Sernye township of Nagchu county (in Chinese, Nagqu), had a picture of the 14th Dalai Lama around his neck and hanging in his car when authorities arrested him on Aug. 12, a Tibetan living in exile, who requested anonymity to speak freely, told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

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Protestants

25.08.2022 – Update on Xi’an Church of Abundance: beatings, police abuse and house surveillance

On August 20, 2022, Guo Jiuju, the wife of Senior Pastor Lian Changnian of Xi’an Church of Abundance, and Zhang Jun, wife of Pastor Lian Xuliang, sent a prayer request letter to .The letter details the severe persecution from the Shilipu Police Station in Xi’an on the church members.

Around 4:00 P.M. on August 17, the Xi’an Public Security Bureau arrested Pastor Lian Changnian and his wife Guo Jiuju; Pastor Lian Changnian’s son Pastor Lian Xuliang, his wife Zhang Jun and their nine-year-old son; as well as church co-worker Sister Xing Aiping and Fu Juan. The Shilipu Police Station of the Baqiao Branch forcibly searched their homes and took them to the police station in the jurisdiction for interrogation. Even the 9-year-old child was not spared and was taken to the police station. They were sent back home that night but it caused shock and trauma to the child.

Continue reading…

 

24.08.2022 – House Churches Attacked and Banned in Several Provinces

On December 3 and 4, 2021, the Chinese Communist Party held in Beijing a National Conference on Work Related to Religious Affairs, the first such conference since 2016. Xi Jinping spoke at the Conference, and called for a more aggressive campaign against “non-Sinicized” and “illegal” forms of religion.

Continue reading…

 

23.08.2022 – Police violently raided Sunshine Reformed Church and arrested member

On August 21, 2022, the Sunday service of Sunshine Reformed Church in Changchun was raided by local police. Around 9:45 A.M., police suddenly burst into the church, dispersed those in attendance, and purposefully took away Pastor Guo Muyun and his wife Li Guoxiang as well as Elder Qu Hongliang, Zhang Liangliang, Li Chunyang, Cao Yunqiang, Hao Zheqiang, Xu Huaibin, and Li Lei.

To view videos of the raid and subsequent violence, visit here.

Once the raid began, Pastor Guo Muyun calmly asked people attending the service to go home, and Christians left one after another. Outside the church, chaos ensued as people were taken away, some women were pressed on the ground, and children cried next to them. Police beat Christians while violently enforcing laws, which resulted in two female Christians losing consciousness. Some Christians kneeled and performed first aid to the woman who passed out and Li Guoxiang asked a man to call for emergency medical services.

Continue reading…

 

22.08.2022 – Church of the Rock: Pastor Geng Zejun Sentenced to 1 Year and 3 Months in Prison

The name of Pastor Geng Zejun is known to the readers of Bitter Winter. He is the pastor of the Church of the Rock, a house church with a reformed theology located in the Huinong district of the prefecture-level city Shizuishan.

Shizuishan is the second largest city in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It is located in the north of the region, near the border with Inner Mongolia. The name of the region comes from the Hui Muslims, who represent roughly one third of its population.

Continue reading…

 

Catholics

24.08.2022 – Beijing tells new Catholic leaders to ‘fend off infiltration by foreign forces’

Top political adviser Wang Yang has urged new Catholic leaders in China to resist foreign influence and ensure that control of the church remains in the hands of patriots.

He made the remarks after the two state-sponsored Catholic Church bodies in China elected new leaders at a twice-a-decade conference that wrapped up in Wuhan, Hubei province on Saturday.

During the three-day meeting, Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing was appointed chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, replacing Bishop John Fang Xingyao of the Shandong diocese.

Continue reading…

 

23.08.2022 – China’s catholic leaders vow to accelerate sinicization.

Two state-sponsored Church bodies in China have elected new leaders during a five-yearly national conference who promised to invigorate the Catholic faithful pastorally in line with the socialist principles of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The three-day 10th National Congress of Catholicism in China ended in Wuhan, the capital of Hebei province in central China, on Aug. 20. Senior officials from the CCP also attended the gathering and delivered speeches.

The meeting attended by some 345 Catholic bishops, clergy, and religious from across China ended with the election of new leaders of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC), says a report on the BCCCC website.

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23.08.2022 – New Chinese Catholic leaders say they’ll follow Communist Party principles

Two state-sponsored church bodies in China have elected new leaders, who promised to invigorate the Catholic faithful pastorally in line with the socialist principles of the Chinese Communist Party.

The three-day 10th National Congress of Catholicism in China ended in Wuhan, the capital of Hebei province in central China, Aug. 20. The national conference is held every five years, and senior Communist Party officials also attended the gathering and delivered speeches, reported ucanews.com.

The delegates unanimously accepted the work report of the Ninth Standing Committee on church efforts and activities in the promotion of patriotism, socialism, and sinicization in the Catholic Church as outlined by President Xi Jinping.

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Falun Gong

29.08.2022 – Wuhan Woman secretly sentenced to two years for her faith

The family of Ms. Shen Yanqiao recently learned that she has been secretly sentenced to two years for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Shen, a Wuhan City, Hubei Province resident, was arrested in July 2021 and detained at the Wuhan City No. 1 Detention Center. The authorities denied her family visitation and kept them in the dark of her situation. Although her family confirmed that she has been taken to the Hubei Province Women’s Prison to serve a two-year term, they still don’t know when she was sentenced and by which court.

Continue reading…

 

 23.08.2022 – Crimes committed by Minister of justice Tang Yijun in the persecution of Falun Gong

July 20 marked 23 years since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to suppress Falun Gong in 1999. July 20 this year, Falun Gong practitioners in 38 countries submitted an updated list of perpetrators to their respective governments, urging that those on the list (and their family members) be barred from entry and their assets frozen.

The 38 countries are: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Czechia, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, Malta, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Israel, Mexico, Chile, and Dominica. Please refer to New List of Perpetrators Submitted to 38 Governments on the 23rd Anniversary of the Persecution of Falun Gong for details.

Continue reading…

 

21.08.2022 – Hefei City, Anhui Province: Over 40 Falun Gong practitioners indicted and sentenced since 2018 by same procuratorate and Court

At least 40 Falun Gong practitioners in Hefei City, Anhui Province, have been sentenced since 2018 for upholding their faith. They were all indicted and sentenced by the Shushan District Procuratorate and Shushan District Court, both of which were designated to handle Falun Gong cases in the region to expedite the prosecution process.

Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual discipline, in 1999, sentencing Falun Gong practitioners to prison through the rubber-stamp judiciary branch has been one of the major persecution tactics, especially after the abolishment of the forced labor camp system in 2013.

Continue reading…

 

 

 

 

 

Other religions

 

30.08.2022 – Xie Jiao: China updates the list—with some new entries

 

Qin Yi, one of the most famous Chinese actresses, died this year on May 9, three months after she had turned 100. It is not surprising that Chinese state television showed in the months following her dead some of her old movies, including “Woman Basketball Player no. 5.” Despite including a propaganda element, they allowed Qin Yi to show her considerable skills—not to mention that Chinese premier Zhou Enlai once famously called her “the most beautiful woman in China.”

 

Continue reading…


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