CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief – Special bimonthly FoRB newsletter (01-15.05.2022)



14.05.2022 – WSJ: calls on Vatican to renounce the Faustian pact with Beijing and says “A regime that fears a 90-year-old priest must have profound doubts about its legitimacy.”

The Wall Street Journal-Editorial Board: “China has already crushed political dissent, a free press and an independent judiciary in Hong Kong, and its latest target is religious liberty… There’s no doubt the main political target is Cardinal Zen, an outspoken critic of China’s religious persecution. He has criticized the Vatican for its 2018 agreement with Beijing that requires that bishops be acceptable to the atheist Communist leadership, among other concessions.

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13.05.2022 – Hong Kong police release 90-year-old cardinal Joseph Zen on bail after arrest under China’s security law

One of the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia, Cardinal Joseph Zen and three others who helped run a now-disbanded Hong Kong fund for protesters who were arrested on charges of “collusion with foreign forces,” were later released on bail.

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12.05.2022 – Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen arrested under China’s security law

One of the Catholic Church’s most senior members has been arrested in Hong Kong for breaking China’s national security law, police have confirmed.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, 90, is one of four people detained for being associated with a now-defunct organisation that helped protesters in financial need.

The others are a Cantopop singer and actor Denise Ho, ex-legislator Margaret Ng, and academic Dr Hui Po Keung.

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11.05.2022 – Catholic Bishop Joseph Zhang Weizhu: Still detained despite reported Vatican intervention

Readers of Bitter Winter may remember that in 2021 we reported about a raid conducted by more than 100 public security officers on May 21. The police stormed a disaffected factory in Henan province, where Bishop Joseph Zhang Weizhu of the Xinxiang diocese had organized an independent seminary for fellow conscientious objectors.

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13.05.2022 – USCIRF calls for Panchen Lama’s release

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is once again calling for the release of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, whom the Chinese government forcibly disappeared 27 years ago. On May 14, 1995, His Holiness the Dalai Lama chose the then six-year-old Gedhun to be the 11th Panchen Lama, the second highest position in Tibetan Buddhism. Three days later, the Chinese government abducted him, only to announce its own selection of the Panchen Lama months later.

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Falun Gong

11.05.2022 – Wuhan City: At least ten arrested in one month and eight still detained in brainwashing enters

At least ten Falun Gong practitioners in Wuhan City, Hubei Province have been arrested for their faith since late March 2022 and eight of them are still detained in two brainwashing centers at the time of writing.

Mr. Liu Shenjian was arrested at his residence in the Qingshan District on March 23, 2022. The police took him back to his hometown in the Huangpi District, also under the jurisdiction of Wuhan, and held him at the Panlongcheng Brainwashing Center.

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09.05.2022 – Sentenced to prison while still in a coma, math tutor passes away

Mr. Ding Guochen was still in a coma when he was sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong. The math tutor from Dalian City, Liaoning Province passed away two months later, on April 30, 2022. He was 51 years old.

Mr. Ding and his wife Ms. Yan Qinghua were arrested during a police sweep across the province on July 11, 2019. The group arrest came as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s effort to “maintain stability” ahead of its 70th anniversary of taking power in China.

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13.05.2022 – After 11.5 years in prison, 78-year-old man sentenced to another 3 years

Arrested on December 10, 2021, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong, a 78-year-old Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province resident was recently sentenced to three years. More details about Mr. Hu Deyuan’s most recent arrest and sentencing aren’t clear.

Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline also known as Falun Dafa, in 1999, Mr. Hu, a former security guard of Yingtan Railroad Bureau, has been sentenced twice for upholding his faith.

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06.05.2022 – Sichuan woman sentenced to prison for talking to people about Falun Gong

A Chengdu City, Sichuan Province resident was recently sentenced to two years for raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong, which has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Shui Qionghua was arrested on May 13, 2021, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong at a farmers’ market. She was taken to the Shuangliu District Detention Center the next day and has been held there since.

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