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



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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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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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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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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