Religious persecution and issues – Bimonthly digest June 16-30



29.06.2023 – Bookstores searched for illegal religious literature in Henan

Bitter Winter – “Pornography and obscenity” and “xie jiao [a term indicating ‘heterodox teachings’ listed as such and prohibited, sometimes less accurately translated as ‘cults’], illegal religion, and superstition” are now the two main illegal contents of books the Market Supervision Bureaus are supposed to confiscate in China.

This month, Market Supervision Bureau officers and police descended on bookstores in Shangcheng County, which is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Xinyang, in Henan Province, and started examining shelves and books, telling store owners that they were looking for both pornography and unauthorized religious or “superstitious” publications.

Bookstores near schools and colleges were particularly targeted.

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Hui Muslims

28.06.2023 – Yunnan, “Sinicization” of mosques, temporarily suspended after protests, started again

On June 1, 2023, Bitter Winter reported on protests over the “Sinicization” of the Najiaying Mosque in Yunnan and the authorities’ plans to “Sinicize” the Shadian Grand Mosque in the same province. Ostensibly, the “Sinicization” of the Najiaying mosque was suspended after protests by local Hui Muslims and international media attention. However, Bitter Winter has received an update that local authorities in Yunnan have in fact continued to move forward with the “Sinicization” of the local mosques in June.

The day after the May 27 protest, authorities in the town of Nagu, Tonghai County, Yuxi City, Yunnan Province, posted on a local street bulletin board the same “Notice on Urging Relevant Criminal Suspects to Surrender” that authorities had posted online, and displayed a “rendering of the Najiaying Mosque” that clearly informed the local people that the mosque would be transformed into a Chinese-style building.

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26.06.2023 – Searching Tibetan monasteries, China requires monks to renounce ties to Dalai Lama

Radio Free Asia – Chinese authorities in Tibet are randomly searching monasteries and forcing monks to sign documents renouncing all ties to the “separatist” Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s foremost spiritual leader, Tibetan sources living in exile told Radio Free Asia.

The Dalai Lama is widely regarded by Chinese leaders as a separatist intent on splitting Tibet, a formerly independent nation that was invaded and incorporated into China by force in 1950, from Beijing’s control.

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30.06.2023 – Fine doubles for Xunsiding Church couple

ChinaAid – (Xiamen, Fujian province) On June 28, Chinese officials enforced and doubled the fine for the well-known pastor of Xunsiding Church Yang Xibo, and his wife Wang Xiaofei. They owe a total of 400,000 yuan (~$55,100) for organizing religious activities.

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27.06.2023 – Officials establish task force for Guangzhou Bible reformed church.

Chinaaid – Yesterday, four officials requested a meeting with the pastor of Guangzhou Bible Reformed Church. They asked him and his house church to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Church. Also, they informed the pastor that a task force was formed specifically for his church.

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Officials invited Pastor Huang Xiaoning to discuss Guangzhou Bible Reformed Church. They told Pastor Huang they wanted him to move away from Panyu District in Guangzhou. During the meeting, they questioned him about tithe and offerings in his church.

Despite their threats and constant harassment, the pastor shared the gospel with them and answered their questions about Christianity. They were shocked by his preaching. ”I’m very about what I believe,” he told the officials. “I’m doing what I am supposed to do. And I will continue to do what I’m doing, regardless of the situation.”

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23.06.2023 – Pastor and members of Guangzhou Bible Reformed Church harassed

Chinaaid – On June 21st, an unknown individual cut off the power to Pastor Huang Xiaoning’s home. They also blocked his door lock, rendering him unable to use it.

Just after 10 PM, the power was cut off at the home of Pastor Huang Xiaoning of the Guangzhou Bible Reformed Church. Surveillance photos revealed that an unknown person in civilian clothes was injecting objects into the door. Pastor Huang Xiaoning reported the case to the police station that night, respectively. He received an executive police report. Reports also indicate that unknown individuals also stalked and harassed other pastoral co-workers this past week.

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Falun Gong

30.06.2023 – Woman previously jailed three times detained again for her faith in Falun Gong

Minghui – A 71-year-old resident of Shihe District, Xinyang City, Henan Province was arrested on May 16, 2023, while talking to people about the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

The arresting officers were from Yangshan Police Department in Pingqiao District, Xinyang City. They turned Ms. Zhang Qiuju over to their counterparts at the Gongqu Road Police Station, Shihe District. She was later transferred to the Xinyang City Detention Center, where she remains.

This is not the first time that Ms. Zhang has been targeted for upholding her faith in Falun Gong.

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23.06.2023 – Sole breadwinner for extended family sentenced to three years for his faith

Minghui – It’s recently confirmed by that a Xianning City, Hubei Province, resident was taken to the Fanjiatai Prison in March 2023 to serve a three-year sentence for his faith in Falun Gong.

Mr. Liu Haiquan, in his 40s, received a call from a stranger on April 13, 2021, asking if he could install satellite dishes. The stranger hung up after he said yes. Shortly after, Zhang Shijun, the secretary of Xianning City Political and Legal Affairs Committee, and Liu Ning, the head of Xianning City Domestic Security Office, showed up at his workplace and arrested him.

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21.06.2023 – 70-year-old woman tortured in prison for 3.5 years for practicing Falun Dafa

Having suffered 3.5 years of frequent torture for not renouncing her faith in Falun Dafa, a 70-year-old woman in Chuxiong City, Yunnan Province, was finally released in December 2022. Now, over six months after Ms. Wang Meiling returned home, she still has persistent pain, especially in her lower back and pelvis. She also has headaches and often feels lethargic and drowsy.

According to Ms. Wang, the guards and inmates at Yunnan Province Second Women’s Prison did everything to make her life miserable in an attempt to force her to renounce her faith, which has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

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