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CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief: Special bimonthly FoRB newsletter (01-15.02.2022)

General

01.02.2022 – China’s online religious restrictions to take effect after Beijing Olympics

As the Winter Olympics in Beijing approach, China is set to impose new restrictions on online religious content that will essentially outlaw evangelistic Scripture just days after the games conclude, according to Christian persecution watchdog China Aid.

“If you promote Gospel spreading, John 3:16, or the Great Commission of Matthew 28,” said China Aid Founder and President Bob Fu, “these are all regarded as conversion of state power, because you are essentially spreading messages for other persons to believe and to encourage others to share the Gospel.”

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Catholics

12.02.2022 – Sounding the alarm on China, but is Rome listening?

When I was received into the Catholic Church on Palm Sunday of 2013 in St Mary’s Cathedral in Yangon, by my friend who went on to become Myanmar’s first-ever Cardinal and subsequently President of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, Cardinal Charles Bo, literally 11 days after the election of Pope Francis, I did not come into the Church in order to pick a fight with the Vatican.

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07.02.2022 – Human rights activist: Diplomatic relations between Vatican and China would be ‘totally unacceptable’

A British human rights activist said on Sunday that it would be “totally unacceptable” for the Vatican to establish formal diplomatic relations with China.

Benedict Rogers suggested on Feb. 6 that the Vatican could be preparing to take the step after moving officials from posts in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Protestants

15.02.2022 – House church pastor sentenced to eight years

Authorities arrested Mrs. Hao Zhiwei, the pastor of a house church in Ezhou because she refused to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Church. On February 11, after more than two and half years’ imprisonment, Echeng District Court sentenced her to 8 years under the charge of “fraud.” Her lawyer Mr. Si Weijiang visited her in the prison, and she decided to appeal.

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14.02.2022 – Secret trial for Christian concluded, awaiting verdict

On February 11, Gao Heng, a Christian attending Guangzhou Bible Reformed Church and a suspect of “provoking trouble and picking quarrels”, was tried secretly. No verdict was announced after the trial ended.

Gao Heng became a suspect of “provoking trouble and picking quarrels” for holding a sign reading “Pray for the country” at a subway station on June 4th. ChinaAid sources reported that only authorized attorneys, national security officers, the judge, and personnel attended the trial. Gao Heng’s family, friends, and Christians of the church were not permitted to attend the trial.

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Buddhists

15.02.2022 – Massive arrests of Tibetan Buddhists in Sichuan after statue protests

In December 2021, a megastatue of Buddha was destroyed in Luhuo (Drakgo). As protests continued, hundreds are being taken to re-education camps.

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11.02.2022 – China destroying Buddhism, identity of Tibetans: Ling Rinpoche

Tibetan Buddhist, Ling Rinpoché, identified as the reincarnation of the teacher of Dalai Lama, at a press conference in Sri Lanka, criticized China for destroying buddhism in order to destroy the identity of the Tibetans.

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04.02.2022 Tibetan monks sent to labor camps for spreading news of Buddhist statue’s destruction

Eleven Tibetans beaten and arrested by Chinese authorities in January for spreading news of the destruction of a 99-foot-tall Buddha statue and dozens of prayer wheels in southwestern China’s Sichuan province have been sent to labor camps in the region, Tibetans with knowledge of the situation said Friday.

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Falun Gong

13.02.2022 – Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province: 24 Falun Gong practitioners still detained for their faith

Twenty-four (24) Falun Gong practitioners in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, continued to be held in detention for their faith as of December 2021, as confirmed by Minghui.org.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

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11.02.2022 – Shandong women’s prison instigates inmates to torture Falun Gong practitioners

Guards at Shandong Province Women’s Prison have instigated inmates to torture Falun Gong practitioners ever since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute this ancient spiritual and meditation discipline in 1999.

Xu Yumei, head of the prison’s Division 11, Li Chunling, Wang Jianfang, and Dai Dabing are some of the guards who order inmates to brutally target practitioners.

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09.02.2022 – Zheng Xiangxing: From biker to Falun Gong prisoner of conscience

In 2013, Falun Gong practitioners all over the world protested and collected signatures on behalf of Zheng Xiangxing, a co-religionist who had been disabled by the severe tortures he had to suffer in jail and subjected to two craniotomies. Their petitions were never answered, and since then Zheng’s friends have wondered whether he is alive or dead.

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