CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief: Bimonthly FORB newsletter (01-15.07.2022)



15.07.2022 – Chi Jie: Death of Tibetan activist in jail confirmed after six years

As reported to Bitter Winter, authorities in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) have now admitted that Chi Jie, a well-known Tibetan activist from Mengqing village, in Biru county, under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Nagku, in the northern part of TAR, died in jail in 2016, allegedly “of old age.” This confirms previous unofficial reports that he had been tortured to death in the same year 2016. 

The story of Chi Jie is strictly connected with the 2013 demonstrations in Tibet against the forced “re-education” courses thousands of Tibetan Buddhists were ordered to submit to. Buddhists were also upset that prayer flags had been removed, and mandatory Chinese flags were placed on the roofs of each home. 

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11.07.2022 – CCP “celebrates” Dalai Lama birthday with anti-religious exhibitions

July 6 was the 87th birthday of the XIV Dalai Lama. Buddhists celebrated all over the world—and even in Tibet, clandestinely, as any celebration was strictly forbidden, and public security was in a state of maximum alert.

For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the birthday was an opportunity for more anti-Dalai-Lama, anti-Buddhist, and anti-religious campaigns throughout Tibet.

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04.07.2022 – Monastery forced to relocate to make way to hydropower station

Chinese authorities in Amdo, eastern Tibet are planning to relocate a 19th-century Tibetan monastery against the wishes of its resident monks and local Tibetans. The monastery, located in Drakkar County (Ch: Xinghai) in Amdo, will make way for a hydropower station to be constructed on the nearby River Machu, also known as the Yellow River.

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04.07.2022 – Tibetan woman arrested for keeping Dalai Lama’s photo at home

Chinese police arrested a Tibetan woman named Zumkar on 23 June 2022, after finding her in possession of a photo of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet.

The arrest took place at her home where the police found a photo of the Dalai Lama on an altar, a sacred part of Tibetan households where religious objects like statues and scripture are kept, and prayers are offered. Four days later, on 28 June, the police transferred her nearly 500 kilometres away to Lhasa, a 12-hour drive south from her hometown of Tsarang Township, Amdo County in Nagchu. Other residences in the area are also known to have been investigated by the authorities for photos of the Dalai Lama.

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14.07.2022 – “Remember their names”: Early Rain survivor testifies to persecution in China

At the 2022 IRF Summit, ChinaAid invited Ren Ruiting, a former member of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, to give a presentation. Ren gave a three-part testimony on her personal experience of the Chinese government’s persecution of Christian faith communities and individuals.

Due to China’s religious persecution, Ren Ruiting and her family fled to Taiwan in 2019. Due to restrictions imposed by Taiwan’s refugee policy, under the coordination of ChinaAid, her family came to the United States in 2021. They currently reside in Florida.

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14.07.2022 – Church in East China inspires elderly believers to participate in ministries

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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07.07.2022 – Christian banned from platform for “illegal religious content”

Since the implementation of the Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services on March 1, China’s online religious information has been severely censored, and Chinese cyberspace continues to shrink.

A Christian in China has been banned from using a smart platform for a year after authorities accused her of “publishing illegal religious content,” according to a report from China Christian Daily.

The Chinese Christian who has been banned from posting religious content was recently told that her posts involved “illegal religious” information and violated one of the platform’s regulations. This was after she received a complaint from the DingTalk platform, where she learned that the religious messages she posted were classified as illegal religious information.

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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

13.07.2022 – Mother and daughter sentenced to prison for their shared faith

A 45-year-old woman and her 71-year-old mother were recently sentenced to eight and four years, respectively, for their faith in Falun Gong.

More than ten plainclothes officers broke into Ms. Zhu Enhua’s home in Qujing City, Yunnan Province, on October 3, 2021, after deceiving her into opening the door by pretending to be interested in her rental property. One officer held Ms. Zhu’s arms behind her back and the others began to ransack her five-story apartment building. They searched every room for Falun Gong materials, including inside the pillows and comforters.

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09.07.2022 – Reported in the first half of 2022: 366 Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith

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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09.07.2022 – Sichuan man dies after enduring three years of brutal torture in prison and constant harassment after his release

Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual discipline also known as Falun Dafa, in July 1999, Mr. Sun, a former credit union director, was repeatedly arrested, had his home ransacked and held in brainwashing centers. He was given 1.5 years at Xinhua Forced Labor Camp in 2003 for distributing Falun Gong materials.

His second to last arrest was on December 13, 2016 for talking to people about Falun Gong. Two people refused to listen and reported him to the police. When the police came half an hour later, they attempted to take pictures of Mr. Sun with two copies of Falun Gong materials. He didn’t comply.

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06.07.2022 – Retired judge sentenced to six years for talking to people about Falun Gong in her neighborhood

A Guiyang City, Guizhou Province resident was sentenced to six years in prison in late 2021 for spreading information about Falun Gong. Her appeal has been rejected by a higher court.

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

Ms. Zhou Lin, 63, is a retired judge of the Weining County Court in Guizhou Province. She was arrested on July 30, 2020, after being reported by the property management security in her own neighborhood, for talking to the residents about Falun Gong. The police ransacked her home and held her at the Sanjiang Detention Center in Guiyang City.

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