Religious persecution and issues – Bimonthly digest December 16-30



29.12.2023 – How the CCP weaponizes global Chinese diaspora against dissent

Bitter Winter – Protests supporting Tibetans and Uyghurs have significantly increased in Western countries, where expressions of global outrage against China’s oppressive behaviour have intensified. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights violations have attracted increasing attention, especially from international human rights groups, thus leading to greater advocacy to protect minorities in China.


These protests, however, are being stifled and disrupted by members of the Chinese diaspora both in Europe and in the U.S. From constant threats to protesters to directly intimidating those who raise concerns, the CCP has outsourced its regressive crackdown to its diaspora overseas.

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20.12.2023 – Pew: Christian population in China stops growing

ChinachristiandailyThe Christian population in China appears to have stopped growing after rising rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s, said Pew.

Conrad Hackett, senior demographer and associate director of research at Pew Research Center, wrote on December 12 that China’s Christian population is plateauing, according to the survey data from the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS).


In his analysis article titled “China’s Christian Population Appears to Have Stopped Growing After Rising Rapidly in the 1980s and ’90s,” Hackett recalls that Christianity and other religions saw revival in the 1980s and 1990s after the Cultural Revolution, but the current size of China’s Christian population “appears to have leveled off.”

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21.12.2023 – Dalai Lama calls for greater harmony among different Buddhist communities

Rfa – Cultivate a life of virtue that will benefit others.

This is the message that the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, told over 2,000 leaders and monks representing 30 countries and from various Buddhist traditions who gathered this week for a conference in northern India.


The 14th Dalai Lama, 88, inaugurated the four-day International Sangha Forum in Bodh Gaya, in northern India, where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, to boost collaboration and dialogue among the practitioners of different Buddhist traditions and to deliberate on the role of Buddhism in the 21st century.

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20.12.2023 – Crackdown on Mani Stones in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai

Bitter Winter – Mani Stones had always been popular among Tibetan Buddhists. They are stones on which the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, “Om mani padme hum,” and occasionally other mantras are inscribed. Tibetans place them along the roads and rivers, often forming long walls with thousands of them.

The practice also extends to Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, part of historical Tibet that the Chinese made a part of Qinghai province. This year, a Mani Stone Sculpture Exhibition was organized in Jyekundo (Ch. Gyegu). It was an unusually large event with thousands of Mani Stones on display.


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20.12.2023 – European Parliament report urges end to China’s forced assimilation, religious repression policies in Tibet

Tibetan review – The latest report on EU-China relations adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Nov 16, and by the whole Parliament on Dec 13, has condemned China’s assimilationist policies in Tibet as well as its latest religious practice restriction measures which came into force earlier this year.


The report says the assimilationist policies in Tibet violate the educational, religious, cultural and linguistic rights of the Tibetan people and ultimately threaten to eradicate Tibetan culture and identity.

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Falun Gong


27.12.2023 – How torture destroyed the mental health of a Falun Gong teacher


Bitter Winter – For Falun Gong practitioners in China, there is anguish and pain in jail but there is an unbearable life after prison too. The story of Wang Jinhua, a retired schoolteacher from Shandong province, is not unique. But it is particularly sad.


Wang was born in 1951 in Pingyuan county, under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Dezhou, in northwestern Shandong. He is a veteran Falun Gong practitioner. He and his wife Jing Chuanfeng started practicing Falun Gong in 1997.

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26.12.2023 – Woman becomes mute due to abuse in prison, denied medical parole and visits with the Sister who exposed her suffering

Minghui –  Ms. Jin Min, 56, a Jilin City, Jilin Province resident who was sentenced to six years for practicing Falun Gong was tortured so badly that she lost the ability to talk. She also developed various other medical conditions. When one of her sisters exposed her persecution on, the prison authorities revoked the sister’s visitation right.


Ms. Jin was arrested on September 11, 2020 for telling a taxi driver about the communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She was sentenced to six years and taken to Division 8 of Jilin Province Women’s Prison on August 28, 2022. Her family was not allowed to visit her. When they were allowed to see her on March 22, 2023, they were heartbroken to see that she lost the ability to talk. They requested she be released on medical parole, but it was denied.

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25.12.2023 – Sichuan Woman gets 3.5 years after being reported by elementary school students for distributing Falun Gong materials

Minghui –  A Deyang City, Sichuan Province resident was sentenced to 3.5 years on October 30, 2023 for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Jiang Xiaorong was arrested at home at around 7 p.m. on June 21, 2021, by more than ten officers from the Gongnongcun Police Station, who targeted her after two elementary school students reported seeing her distributing Falun Gong materials. The police kept asking her where she got the materials. She refused to answer their questions and was taken away at around 11 p.m.

Ms. Jiang’s family went to the police station several times to demand her release, but to no avail. The police wouldn’t tell them where she was detained or accept the clothes the family prepared for her.

Ms. Jiang’s family confirmed in mid-December 2023 that she was sentenced to 3.5 years with a 5,000-yuan fine by the Jingyang District Court on October 30, 2023.

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29.12.2023 – Administrative penalties upheld against Shengjia Church Ministers

ChinaAid – Recently, the Government of Shunde District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province, issued administrative penalties to Elder Zhu Longjiang, Deacon Zhu Longfei, Preacher Deng Yanxiang, and Deacon Wang Weicai of Shengjia Church, who were classified by the local Religious Affairs Bureau as being involved in an ‘illegal gathering’ case. Subsequently, they appealed for administrative reconsideration to the Government of Shunde District. Recently, Shunde District Government made a ruling to uphold the penalties imposed by the Religious Affairs Bureau.

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26.12.2023 – Elders of Sichuan’s Qiuyu Qingcaodi Church await trial for “fraud”

Bitter Winter – It was December 10, 2018. As reported then by “Bitter Winter,” Qiuyu Qingcaodi Church (literal translation: Early Rain Green Pasture Church) in Deyang city in Sichuan province, was raided. Officials from the Public Security Bureau and Religious Affairs Bureau claimed that the church had privately set up a meeting place in violation of the law. The officials ordered believers to leave the building, prohibited them from holding any religious activities there, and posted a notice of closure on the door.


On December 12, two days later, the church was raided again by the authorities. At the time, nine police officers stormed into the meeting venue and dispersed more than a dozen believers who were holding a gathering.


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20.12.2023 – Niu Tengyu, sentenced to 14 years in prison, claims torture

ChinaAid – Niu Tengyu, is a young activist known for allegedly leaking information regarding the family details of the leader of the Red Empire, Xi Jinping. He is reportedly experiencing mental distress while imprisoned in Guangdong. Niu Tengyu’s single mother is seeking justice for her son and has been advocating for his rights. However, her peaceful efforts for justice have recently been suppressed, which led to discomfort in her heart. The surrounding area of the prison (where Niu Tengyu is being held) has been reinforced with increased security. Over 100 international human rights and democracy organizations, along with more than 300 pro-democracy advocates, have jointly signed an open letter aimed at rescuing Niu Tengyu, a prisoner of conscience in China.

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20.12.2023 – Ganquan Church members face possible arrest and prosecution

China Aid – According to a prayer letter issued by Ganquan Church in Hefei, on November 30, 2023, around 7:00 AM, the local police conducted a sudden raid on the church. More than ten pastors and coworkers were simultaneously taken away for interrogation by the public security at their homes without any prior notice. Police also searched their homes.


Subsequently, Pastor Zhou Songlin, Elder Ding Zhongfu, Preacher Mao Junma, Preacher Pei Defei, and co-worker Yang Peiyun were criminally detained for 15 days. As of December 16, 2023, these five detainees have not been released, and their families are unable to visit them. They may face the risk of arrest and prosecution.


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