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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 : 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.

Continue reading…

 

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.

Continue reading…

 

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.

Continue reading…

 

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.

Continue reading…

 

 

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.

Continue reading…

 

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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.”

 

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CHINA: Special bimonthly FORB newsletter (1-15.08.2022)

CHINA: Special bimonthly FORB newsletter (1-15.08.2022)

Buddhists

 

10.08.2022 – Monk disciplinarian detained in connection with 2013 self-immolation tortured in undisclosed location

A Tibetan monk named Tseta, 25, was detained for about seven months shortly after Tenzin Sherab, a 33-yr old Tibetan nomad, died of self-immolation protest in May 2013 in Chumarleb (Ch: Qumalai) County, Kyegu (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in the Tibetan province of Kham.

New information received by TCHRD provides evidence that Tseta, a disciplinarian (Tib:ghe-gheu / dean of a monastic institute) at the local Adril monastery, was taken into custody for taking photos of Sherab’s body and sharing it with outsiders. He was subjected to severe beatings and torture in custody and forced to confess about his role in making the information about the self-immolation public.

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03.08.2022 – Yarchen Gar Buddhist Novice nuns deported back to Tibet for ‘reeducation’

Yarchen Gar used to be the largest monastery in the world. It is located in the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, part of historical Tibet now incorporated into the Chinese province of Sichuan. Most of the Yarchen Gar residents are Tibetan Buddhist nuns, and the huge monastery was nicknamed the “City of Nuns.” At one stage, some 10,000 nuns lived there.

Until a few years ago, the CCP kept the nuns under surveillance but also welcomed tourists to the Yarchen Gar, using it to argue that Tibetan Buddhists enjoyed religious freedom. In fact, when the authorities felt the monastery was growing too much, parts of it were demolished, since the beginning of the 21st century.

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Protestants

 

15.08.2022 – Authorities raid Early Rain Covenant Church gathering, one detained

Early Rain Covenant Church disclosed that Chengdu authorities raided their in-person gathering yesterday. Police required congregants to register their ID numbers. Some members refused to register their IDs, resulting in one violent arrest.

Yesterday morning, about 50-60 believers gathered at a tea house in Wuhou District, Chengdu, and attended an in-person Sunday service. 20-30 police officers in uniform and plain clothes raided the meeting. They announced that “Early Rain Covenant Church” had been shut down, and it was illegal for them to gather. Police locked the tea house door, requiring everyone to register their IDs before leaving.

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11.08.2022 – Xi’an Church of Abundance: Crackdown on a historical house church

On August 10, 2022, the Church of Abundance (Fengsheng), a historical house church in Xi’an, Shaanxi, which managed to survive and operate for some thirty years, sent an appeal to Bitter Winter and other media, claiming that since July 20 it is the victim of a heavy crackdown by Xi’an Shilipu Subdistrict Police, led by an officer called Zhang Haibo.

Homes of believers have been raided, and some of them have been taken to the police station for interrogation. Money belonging to the church has been confiscated.

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09.08.2022 – Zhang Chenghao’s wife suddenly detained.

Elderly believers in a church located in an East China city make up nearly 70% of the congregation. Despite the small number of believers, the church’s various ministries are in full swing, with the elderly believers outnumbering younger believers in participation. How have they achieved it? Recently, a pastor of the church showed their practical experience to the Gospel Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper.

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09.08.2022 – House Church faces fines totaling over $5 million 

A house church in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, faces a hefty fine as authorities continue to crack down on house churches that are not registered with the government and therefore deemed “illegal.” Members of the church have asked for the prayers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Wang Family Wedding Church was founded in 2006 and had a congregation that peaked at 1,500 attendees. The church was raided by the religious bureau of Xiangzhou district, Zhuhai city, on September 27, 2016; officials confiscated more than 40 computers and 300,000 yuan (44,310 USD) from the church and arrested its pastor, Wei Xiaomei, her husband, Li Bingxin, and staff member Zhang Tao (a Macau resident). The couple and Zhang Tao were charged with “fraud” in 2017.

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05.08.2022 – An Yankui’s wife detained right before his trial

Yesterday, Zion Reformed in Taiyuan sent out prayer requests for Minister An Yankui and Zhang Chenghao, both charged with “illegally crossing the national border.” Their trial will be this morning.  Yao Congya, An Yankui’s wife, was taken away by police before the trial for 15-day detention.

Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church asked people to intercede for Minister An Yankui, Zhang Chenghao, Yao Congya, and Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church by quoting 1 Corinthians 4:9, “For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.”

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Falun Gong

 

14.08.2022 – Woman suffers memory loss after injection in hospital, sentenced to four years for her faith.

Even though Ms. Liu Hongxia’s lawyer requested a postponement of her trial due to her poor health, the judge heard her case on July 13, 2022, as scheduled, and sentenced her to four years for practicing Falun Gong. The 47-year-old woman was so weak and emaciated that she couldn’t even sit up and slumped in her chair during the entire proceedings.

Ms. Liu of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, was arrested on October 28, 2021, when the police officer following her saw her putting up Falun Gong posters in residential buildings. She was admitted to Dalian City Detention Center.

She has been on a hunger strike since February 14 of this year to protest the persecution of her faith, which has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

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10.08.2022 – Seven women, including four in their 70s and 80s, stand trial for practicing Falun Gong

A total of 366 Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith were confirmed in the first half of 2022.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Since then, countless practitioners have been arrested, detained, sentenced, and tortured for upholding their faith. But due to strict information censorship in China, the incidents can’t always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.

The newly confirmed cases include one that took place in 2013, two in 2014, one in 2016, one in 2017, one in 2018, one in 2019, 12 in 2020, 145 in 2021, and 202 in 2022. For the 202 prison terms that have been handed down in 2022 so far, 45 were in January, 36 in February, 44 in March, 37 in April, 22 in May, and 17 in June.

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05.08.2022 – Sichuan woman now a vegetable after suspicious fall while serving time for her faith

When a Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, woman was released on July 20, 2022, after serving three years for practicing Falun Gong, her family was devastated to see this once-healthy woman had become a vegetable.

Ms. Liao Guanghui, born on February 26, 1953, fell down on March 10, 2021, while incarcerated in Sichuan Province Women’s Prison, which is located in the capital city of Chengdu. She has remained unconscious ever since. The prison denied her family’s request to release her on medical parole and held her in custody until the end of her term. Due to her prolonged coma, the prison hospital declared that she has become a vegetable.

Because the prison hospital didn’t properly fix her skull during the craniotomy, she has a large sunken area on the right side of her head. She also has a suction tube in her throat, a feeding tube in her nose, and a urinary catheter. Her entire body is stiff.

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04.08.2022 – Zhang Chunhe: veteran Falun Gonh practitioner sentenced to four years.

On July 13, 2022, the District Court of Haizhu District, one of the urban districts of the prefecture-level city of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, sentenced a woman called Zhang Chunhe to four years of detention for “using a xie jiao to undermine the implementation of the law.” This is a standard formula derived from Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code indicating that a defendant is active, in any capacity, in one of the banned religious movements listed as “xie jiao,” or groups spreading “heterodox teachings.”

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02.08.2022 – Targeted for her faith since 19, Jilin woman sentenced again to prison

Simply for upholding her faith in Falun Gong, Ms. Yin Jun was expelled from college at the age of 19 and later served two labor camp terms and a prison term totaling 7.5 years. She was recently sentenced again to two years and ten months, again for her faith in Falun Gong.

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

Ms. Yin, a 41-year-old native of Fusong County, Jilin Province, was residing in Changchun City in the same province, when she was arrested at around 8 a.m. on June 18, 2020 by a group of officers who had been waiting outside her apartment building.

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CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief: Special bimonthly newsletter (16-31.07.2022)

CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief: Special bimonthly newsletter (16-31.07.2022)

 

General

20.07.2022 – Xinjiang: Xi Jinping launches “phase two” of repression

Eight years after his last visit, Chinese despotic ruler Xi Jinping visited Xinjiang, which his non-Han people call East Turkestan, from July 12 to 15, 2022. Even the edulcorated language of the CCPs’ Global Times cannot hide what he went there for. He “stressed efforts to fully and faithfully implement the policies of the Chinese Communist Party,” the Global Times wrote, “for the governance of Xinjiang in the new era, highlighting social stability and lasting security as the overarching goal and the region’s significant role in building the Belt and Road Initiative.

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Buddhists

27.07.2022 – Crackdown on Tibetan Buddhism in Guangdong.

This month, the government-controlled China Buddhist Association of Yunfu, a prefecture-level city in Guangdong province, issued a “Notice on the Boycott of Illegal Missionary Activities of Tibetan Buddhist Monks.”

The background of the document is that in Guangdong, as elsewhere, Buddhist believers are increasingly dissatisfied with the China Buddhist Association, whose temples are little more than propaganda centers for the CCP. They thus invite independent Buddhist teachers. Tibetan monks both from historical Tibet and from overseas are on high demand. This is, however, creating an independent Buddhism outside the control of the CCP, something the CCP and the China Buddhist Association cannot tolerate.

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Catholics

25.07.2022 – The Vatican-China agreement and Pope Francis: To renew or not to renew?

Earlier this month, Pope Francis was interviewed by Reuters on the Vatican-China deal of 2018, which is up for the second two-year renewal in October 2022. The Vatican’s own news portal reproduced the part of the interview about China, making it somewhat more official.

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25.07.2022 – Authorities demolish venue for underground catholic church

Chinese authorities forcibly demolished a gathering venue for a Catholic church in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. The church had refused to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. The bishop of the diocese revealed that more than 100 local priests had registered to join the patriotic association under the threat of the authorities.

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Protestants

18.07.2022 – Yang Rongli: Sola Fide Golden Lampstand’s female preacher denied treatment for diabetes in jail.

A female preacher and evangelist of the large Sola Fide community Golden Lampstand, Yang Rongli, is being denied treatment for her diabetes in jail and is in serious health conditions, according to a letter circulated by her brother Yang Kai on July 15 among Chinese house churches.

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26.07.2022 – Trial held for Geng Zejun

Geng Zejun refused to join the Three-Self Patriotic Church. Huinong District Court charged him with “organizing illegal gatherings” and recommended a sentence of 11 months.

On July 13, officials conducted proceedings via video. Geng Zejun, also known as Geng Sanbao, led Panshi Church (Church of the Rock) in Huinong district, Shizuishan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The trial lasted nearly seven hours while Geng stayed in the detention center. He refused to cooperate with the authorities to plead guilty. A sentencing letter will be issued after half a month.

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19.07.2022 – Chinese Christians call upon international community to pay attention

Yang Kai of Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen City, Shanxi province, invites the world to join together in prayer regarding the suppression by the authorities. A total of seven people consisting of Yang Kai’s sister Yang Rongli and her husband, Pastor Wang Xiaoguang, and other church leaders, are currently being detained by the authorities for “fraud.” Yang Kai disclosed that his sister was starved in prison, lacked treatment and medicine, and family members were prevented from meeting her.

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06.07.2022 – Wife of imprisoned Christian updated for the first time in seven months

On June 30, Li Xin received an update regarding her husband Brother Zhao Weikai, a co-worker of Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church. Zhao was arrested almost one year ago. The last update she received was more than seven months ago. Imprisoned in Fangshan County Detention Center, brother Zhao is very peaceful and in good health.

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Falun Gong

29.07.2022 – The hidden persecution inside Lanzhou City third detention center

The Lanzhou City Third Detention Center (also known as Xiguoyuan Detention Center) in Gansu Province has been one of the main detention facilities to hold male Falun Gong practitioners in the area since the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999. Those who persevere in their faith are tortured while enduring poor living conditions and being deprived of food and daily necessities.

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26.07.2022 – Arrested while job hunting, former teacher secretly tried without lawyer’s knowledge

When Ms. Liu Yurong’s family and lawyer went to the court to submit their defense statement on July 18, 2022, they were shocked to learn from judge Xu Bing that a hearing had already been held on July 13 without their knowledge.

Ms. Liu’s family said that when they called the judge at 5:10 p.m. on July 13 to inquire about her case, Xu didn’t mention anything about the hearing that had taken place earlier that day, but questioned the family as to how they obtained her phone number and threatened retaliation. The family later called their lawyer for help, only to find that the call couldn’t go through.

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24.07.2022 – Woman tortured in custody, deprived of sleep for six nights

Ms. Li Dongmei, a resident of Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province, was arrested on July 18, 2019 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999. She was sentenced to ten months in April 2020, and released on May 18, 2020.

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22.07.2022 – Four Hebei residents face prosecution for their faith

Four Cangzhou City, Hebei Province residents are facing prosecution for their faith in Falun Gong. Their lawyers are calling on the authorities to release them and stop following the persecution policy.

Under the directives of the Cangzhou City Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office, two agencies tasked with overseeing the persecution, the local authorities in Cangzhou dispatched four unmarked cars with civilian plates to arrest the four practitioners on the evening of January 11, 2022. A total of 12 officers, three in each car, participated in the arrests.

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