Religious persecution and issues – Bimonthly Digest June 01-15

Falun Gong

14.06.2024 – Disabled Falun Gong practitioner taken to horrific Heilongjiang provincial women’s prison

Bitter Winter – On June 5, co-religionists told “Bitter Winter” that in late May Niu Xiaona, a female Falun Gong prisoner of conscience, had been transferred from Harbin no. 2 Detention Center to Heilongjiang Provincial Women’s Prison, a notorious place of death and torture nicknamed “the cemetery of Falun Gong ladies.”

Niu Xiaona, who will turn 50 next year, is a severely disabled person. She was diagnosed with progressive rheumatoid arthritis during her sophomore year and had to drop out of college. Encouraged by her mother Tuo Wenxia, a college professor who also became a practitioner, Niu started practicing Falun Gong in 1998.

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11.06.2024 – 75-year-old man not recognizable after being force-fed and beaten

Minghui – When Mr. Wang Junheng was released on bail on May 20, 2024, after 37 days of detention, his family did not recognize him. He had been on a hunger strike to protest the wrongful arrest, only to be force-fed and beaten repeatedly. His family took him to a hospital and the doctors found that one of his ribs was broken. He’s still in a lot of pain weeks later.

Mr. Wang’s ordeal was triggered by his arrest on April 12, 2024 after he and a friend, Mr. Wang Huawei (no relation), accompanied two sisters to seek the release of their mother, Ms. Yin Minghua.

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09.06.2024 – After eleven years behind bars for practicing Falun Gong, retired accountant secretly sentenced to prison and now appealing the wrongful conviction

Minghui – A 74-year-old resident of Mian County, Shaanxi Province, was recently secretly sentenced to prison for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Du Shuhui, a retired accountant at the Urban Construction Bureau of Mian County, was arrested at home by officers from the Dingjun Police Station on December 7, 2023, and taken to the Hantai Detention Center. The Mian County Court scheduled a hearing for April 2024 and appointed a lawyer surnamed Qi to represent her.

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06.06.2024 – Jailed College Professor denied family visits for holding firm to her faith in Falun Gong

Minghui – Ms. Chen Ping’s family recently traveled an entire day from their residence in Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, to the Sichuan Province Women’s Prison (located in Longquanyi District of the capital city of Chengdu), only to be denied visits with her.

Ms. Chen, 47, is serving two years for practicing Falun Gong. She was admitted to prison in November 2023 and her term is set to end around March 2025.

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04.06.2024 – College student detained and threatened with expulsion, her father implicated and still in detention

Minghui – An undergraduate student studying at the Zhongshan City campus of Guangdong Pharmaceutical University was briefly detained several times and threatened with expulsion after she removed a poster smearing Falun Gong from a bulletin board. Her father was later arrested in their hometown of Xingning City in the same province and is still detained.

Ms. Xie Xiaoting saw the poster on campus on the morning of January 9, 2024. As a Falun Gong practitioner, she knew all too well that the peaceful mind-body practice was nothing like what was depicted by the communist regime’s hate propaganda. She thus tore down the poster and was recorded by the surveillance camera.

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14.06.2024 – Update on activist Jia Guoxi, who has been arrested for more than 5 years for ‘subversion of State power’

China Aid – There has been a recent update on Gansu-born pro-democracy activist Jia Guoxi, who has been under arrest by Chinese Communist Party authorities for more than five years since 2019.

Jia Guoxi, a Christian who was baptized at a church from a background of Christian Assembly (then known as the Little Flock), was suddenly arrested by police in Yanggu County, Shandong Province, on June 11, 2019. The reason for his arrest is unknown, and he was detained at the Yanggu County Detention Center in Shandong Province, on suspicion of “ inciting subversion of state power.”

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12.06.2024 – Guiyang Renai Church’s Elder Zhang Chunlei in serious health conditions in jail

Bitter Winter – “Bitter Winter” repeatedly reported on the persecution of Renai Reformed Church, a house church in Guiyang, a prefecture-level city with a population of 4.7 million and the capital of the south-western Guizhou province. The church’s elder, Zhang Chunlei, was detained on March 16, 2021. He had been one of the signatories of the document against the 2018 Regulations on Religious Affairs drafted by Pastor Wang Yi, of Chengdu’s Early Rain Covenant Church, who is also in jail.

He was formally arrested and committed to trial for the nebulous charges of “fraud and inciting subversion of state power,” frequently used against house churches. His case went to trial on November 29, 2022. Then “something” happened. Months passed and the verdict was never announced.

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10.06.2024 – Chengdu Early Rain Church member detained for commemorating Tiananmen

Bitter Winter – While around the world on June 4 many commemorate the anniversary of the bloody June Fourth Incident, i.e., the mass killing of students in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, of June 4, 1989, any remembrance of the event is strictly forbidden in China. Search engines have been manipulated to disable searches for “June Fourth Incident” or “June 4 Tiananmen Square.” Actually, those who commemorate in any way the June 4 Incident may go to jail.

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10.06.2024 – Woman claims she was not defrauded by pastors despite police claims

China Aid – On the evening of May 23, 2024, Qin Wen, a Christian from Xi’an Church of Abundance who was identified as a “victim” by the police, issued an open prayer letter, stating that all her money was donated to God and that she was not defrauded by the pastors. For this reason, Qin Wen also hired a defense lawyer to prove that she is not a victim. However, the work of the defense lawyer has been hindered at every step. The Baqiao District Court in Xi’an has used various excuses to prevent the defense lawyer from legally reviewing the files and copying the discs. In the prayer letter, Qin Wen calls on Christians to pray for the lawyers to be able to normally carry out legal procedures and review the files according to the law.

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03.06.2024 – Yan Zhengxue: Persecuted Chinese christian artist dies at age 80

Bitter Winter – Prominent Chinese dissident artist Yan Zhengxue passed away in Beijing on May 28 at 3 a.m. at age 80. Yan had suffered a cerebral thrombosis last year, after his health had been severely damaged by years of persecution, detention, and torture.

Yan Zhengxue was born on January 11, 1944, in Haimen, Taizhou, Zhejiang Province. He was admitted to the Affiliated Middle School of Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. In 1965, he left the Academy and traveled around China trying to find his way as an artist. His first solo exhibition was at the National Art Museum of China in 1988.

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03.06.2024 – Cornerstone Reformed Church christians’ case to be re-tried at a later date

China Aid – The case of Pastor Wan Changchun, Elder Xue Shaoqiang, co-worker Cao Binting, and Wan Chunqin of the Cornerstone Reformed Church in Bengbu, who were charged with fraud, was originally scheduled to officially open trial at 9:00 a.m. on May 16, 2024. The family members of the four defendants had long been looking forward to seeing their loved ones in court and arrived early outside the courthouse. However, on the day of the trial, the court did not allow the lawyers to bring computers into the courtroom, nor did it allow the family members of the four defendants and other Christians from the church to enter the courtroom. Only those who had obtained observer certificates were allowed to enter.

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