CHINA: Religious persecution and issues – Bimonthly digest March 16-31



25.03.2024 – China releases Tibetan monks and residents held for dam protests

RFA – Chinese authorities have released hundreds of monks and other Tibetans arrested in February for peacefully protesting the construction of a dam in a Tibetan-populated area of Sichuan province, but are still holding two accused of being ringleaders, two sources inside Tibet said.

Tenzin Sangpo, senior administrator of Wonto Monastery, and a village official named Tenzin, were arrested on Feb. 23 on suspicion of leading protests last month against the Gangtuo Dam project in Dege county, or Derge in Tibetan, in the province’s Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

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Falun Gong


30.03.2024 – Shoe shop owner sentenced to seven years for practicing Falun Gong

Minghui – A Dehui City, Jilin Province resident was sentenced to seven years on January 4, 2024 for practicing Falun Gong.

Mr. Zheng Yuming, 67, and his wife were arrested by officers from the Dajiagou Police Station at their shoe shop on February 25, 2023. The police monitored the couple for three days before arresting them. They confiscated their three printers, two computers, and many Falun Gong books. Mr. Zheng was held at the Dehui City Detention Center but his wife was released.

In addition to the couple, 13 other practitioners in Dehui City were arrested on the sam

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28.03.2024 – Belated News: Incapacitated for a decade due to torture, Liaoning Woman dies months after her pension is suspended.

Minghui – Although a Fuxin City, Liaoning Province, resident survived brutal torture while she was incarcerated for practicing Falun Gong, she remained bedridden for the next 12 years and relied on her husband and mother to care for her. The destitute family was dealt a hard blow when the authorities suddenly suspended Ms. Huo Xiuqin’s pension in late 2022. The 63-year-old woman’s health deteriorated and she passed away months later.

Ms. Huo was arrested on September 2, 2008, by police officers Gao Nan and Zhu Hongyan in a public plaza for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was held at the Xindi Detention Center and later sentenced to three years by the Haizhou District Court. Although the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison initially refused to admit her due to her high blood pressure, the guards took her in after Wang Zhonghong, the director of the Xindi Detention Center, bribed them.

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25.03.2024 – Having lost his wife and mother in the persecution of Falun Gong, 58-year-old farmer arrested again for his faith

Minghui – A 58-year-old resident of Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, has been detained since his arrest eight months ago for his faith in Falun Gong.

Mr. Zhao Dehua was arrested on July 31, 2023 and is currently held at the Shuangcheng District Detention Center in Harbin City. The details of his arrest and detention remain to be investigated.

Mr. Zhao is not the only person in his family targeted for practicing Falun Gong. His mother, Ms. Wang Ying, and his wife, Ms. Liu Fengjie, were both also arrested for their faith. His wife Ms. Liu died in 2001, at the age of 38. His mother died four years later.

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28.03.2024 – Father of imprisoned christian Cao Binting appeals for a fair trial for him.

China Aid – Recently, Cao Jin, the father of Cao Binting from the Cornerstone Reformed Church in Bengbu, Anhui province, who was charged with “fraud” because of his Christian faith, publicly posted on Weibo. He stated that his son Cao Binting is upright, kind, law-abiding, and was an outstanding student at school. After starting work, he has been diligent and responsible, frequently visiting troubled families in the church with compassion, being charitable in daily life, and not seeking rewards. Cao Jin expressed his inability to accept that his son, who is so good, is wrongly accused of “fraud.” He urged the judicial authorities to give Cao Binting a fair trial.

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25.03.2024 – A Chinese pastor is released after 7 years in prison, only to find himself unable to get an ID

Apnews – Unable to buy a train ticket, or even see a doctor at a hospital, a Chinese pastor found that even after his release from prison, he is not quite free.

The Rev. John Sanqiang Cao was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison while coming back from a missionary trip in Myanmar. Now back in his hometown of Changsha in southern Hunan province, he is without any legal documentation in his country, unable to access even the most basic services without a Chinese identification.

“I told them I’m a second-(class) Chinese citizen, I cannot do this, I cannot do that,” Cao in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m released, I’m a free citizen, why should there be so many restrictions upon me?”

Cao, who was born and raised in Changsha, had dedicated his life to spreading Christianity in China, where the religion is strictly regulated. He had studied in the U.S., married an American woman and started a family, but said he felt a calling to go back to his home country and spread the faith.

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25.03.2024 – Summer training on religion and rule of law recruiting students

China Christian Daily – A Beijing-based institute has begun recruiting students for the 12th Summer Training Course on religion and rule of law.

On March 20, the Pushi Institute for Social Sciences in Beijing released enrollment guidelines, stating that its aim is to draw on the experiences of varied countries in the field of religious rule of law to train professionals in this area. The curriculum includes topics such as religion and rule of law, comparison of state-church relationship models, religious corporation, religious property, church law, and religion and rule of law in the United States.

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21.03.2024 – Fuyang Maizhong reformed church raided and nine christians detained.

China Aid – On March 10, Fuyang Maizhong Reformed Church was raided by local police during a gathering at a restaurant. Eighteen Christians were taken away, with eight of them administratively detained for 13 days. Elder Chang Shun was administratively detained for 15 days. This marks the third time he has been detained in the past six months.


On Sunday morning, a group of police officers wearing uniforms but not presenting any identification suddenly stormed into a restaurant. Without providing any reason, they began to interrogate the Christians present. The Christians repeatedly requested the officers to show their credentials but were refused. Later, personnel from the local religious affairs bureau and national security agents also entered the restaurant, walking around and taking pictures.

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20.03.2024 – Yet another raid against Fuyang Maizhong Reformed Church

Bitter Winter – There is no peace for the Maizhong Reformed Church, a house church in Fuyang, Anhui province, which refuses to join the government-controlled Three-Self Church. After the raid of January 18, 2024 during a prayer meeting for children, reported by “Bitter Winter” on January 23, another raid has hit the fiercely independent community.

On March 10, there has been a new police intervention, and Elder Chang Shun has been detained again. As reported by Elder Chang’s wife and local believers, uniformed police officers raised and disrupted a prayer gathering of adults without showing any mandate or document. The devotees who insisted for seeing a mandate were detained. Cell phones and computers were also confiscated.

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19.03.2024 – The wives of three detained christians were threatened by police for issuing an appeal letter for their husbands.

China Aid – On March 9, 2024, Li Shanshan, Chen Ying, and Wen Huijuan, wives of Li Jie, Han Xiaodong, and Wang Qiang from Linfen Covenant House Church, who have been detained for over a year and a half due to their Christian faith, jointly wrote an appeal letter. It was titled “Representatives of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC): please Pay Attention to the Case of Religious Persecution Against Li Jie, Han Xiaodong, and Wang Qiang in Linfen, Shanxi Province,” and addressed to NPC, CPPCC Daily, CPPCC website, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Chinese Government website, Shanxi Province People’s Procuratorate, Shanxi Province Public Security, Shanxi Daily, and Shanxi News Network.

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