Religious persecution and issues – Bimonthly digest Feb 01-15
14.02.2023 – Chinaaid releases annual persecution report for 2022
China Aid Association releases its Annual Persecution Report for 2022, cataloging persecution against Christians in Mainland China. Read the full report here.
Since 2006, ChinaAid released annual reports covering the CCP’s oppression and persecution of Chinese Christians. Their reports are derived from an extensive network of Christians throughout the country to expose abuse of human rights, religious freedom, and rule of law. Due to the Communist Regime’s extensive digital surveillance and totalitarian nature, the cases found within are not exhaustive. However, ChinaAid’s annual report stands as one of the most comprehensive and accurate overviews of Chinese Christian persecution.
07.02.2023 – An idolatrous state tries to smother the church
China’s government “exercises comprehensive and extensive control over religion … through a complex web of state laws, regulations, and policies,” according to a new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). As prayerful citizens of the global church, Christians need to understand, and challenge, government attempts to control institutional aspects of religious life.
Beijing uses multiple mechanisms to control religion, including oversight bodies such as the State Administration for Religious Affairs and the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department. The purpose of such organizations is to ensure that the religious content of “approved” houses of worship is patriotic, promotes national unity, and is in line with the messages of President Xi.
03.02.2023 – US called out for criticizing Xinjiang on religion
China expressed on Friday its firm opposition to the United States for defaming its religious policies, and urged Washington to cease using religion and other issues as an excuse to contain its development.
The US defamation disregards basic facts, is filled with ideological bias and constitutes serious interference in China’s internal affairs, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said, slamming recent comments made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
01.02.2023 – Ngaba Prefecture, Sichuan: Massive re-education to prevent Tibetan self-immolations
Ngaba (Ch. Ngawa) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (population one million) in Sichuan is part of historical Tibet, although it is outside present-day Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The majority of its population is Tibetan.
In a way, the situation in Ngaba Prefecture is worse than in the TAR. It has been under Chinese occupation for a longer period, and Communism was brought by the Red Army together with famine already in the 1930s. In 1958, Chairman Mao launched a brutal Sinicization program, a forerunner of the Cultural Revolution, in which monasteries were destroyed, lamas were killed, imprisoned, or forced to take secular jobs, and traditional family agriculture was replaced by collective farms. Mao also imported Han colonists to the Prefecture, where they went from 5% to the 20% of the population.
14.02.2023 – Beijing Shouwang Church: The House Church that refuses to die
Beijing Shouwang Church refuses to die. One of the most famous house churches in China, the CCP believed it had put an end to its glorious story in 2019, when it had declared the church illegal and “liquidated” it.
However, on February 8, 2023, the Haidian District police raided a rented venue where members of the Beijing Shouwang Church were gathering—illegally, from the point of view of the CCP.
The police took the names of all these presents, and detained the pastor, Zhang Xiaofeng, informing his wife on February 9 that he will remain in administrative detention for ten days—to start with.
09.02.2023 – Li Shanshan, wife of imprisoned preacher, threatened to ‘admit guilt’
Police summoned Li Shanshan, the wife of imprisoned Linfen Covenant House Church preacher Li Jie, to the police station. They threatened her for two consecutive days to “admit guilt” for the so-called accusation of fraud. Authorities ended up releasing her on bail but promised to continue their harassment. Reports are unclear whether Wu Tingting, another Linfen Covenant House Church woman, is also being threatened.
07.02.2023 – Authorities resume investigation of Linfen Convenant House Church
Chinese authorities decided to continue their so-called investigation concerning Linfen Covenant House Church. According to a prayer request from the church, this will cause the police to continue their persecution of church members.
FALSE CHARGES AND TESTIMONIES
During an outdoor family camp in August 2022, police arrested preachers of Linfen Covenant House Church—Li Jie and Han Xiaodong. Both of them were initially placed in residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL) as authorities interrogated many believers of the church. Some coerced false confessions led to the arrest of Wang Qiang, a co-worker of the church. All three men were charged with “fraud,” and all false testimonies claimed that Li, Han, and Wang “defrauded” congregants through tithings and offerings.
10.02.2023 – 74-year-old woman detained for talking to people about Falun Gong
A 74-year-old Fushun City, Liaoning Province resident was arrested on February 1, 2023, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong at a public plaza. Ms. Zhu Yafen’s home was ransacked in the evening and she has been placed in criminal detention.
09.02.2023 – Wang Jiafang: Falun Gong Professor of mathematics persecuted for 23 years
The family of Professor Wang Jiafang, a Falun Gong practitioner, has been informed that her appeal has been rejected and she should remain in jail until September 9, 2025. She had been sentenced in July 2022 to a jail term of four years by the Liwan District Court of Guangzhou city, in Guangdong province, for being active in a movement banned as a xie jiao.
Wang was born in 1964 in Xiangfan city, Hubei province. A brilliant mathematician, she became associate professor at the Mathematics Department of Guangzhou University, but later lost her job for her practice of Falun Gong.
09.02.2023 – 25-year-old man faces trial for his faith in Falun Gong
A 25-year-old Changsha City, Hunan Province resident is scheduled to stand trial on February 15, 2023 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Sun Yushan was arrested on January 20, 2022 and taken to the Changsha City No.2 Detention Center two days later. Zhang Tong of the Kaifu District Procuratorate approved his arrest on March 25.
Mr. Sun’s case was later transferred to the Liuyang City Procuratorate, which has been designated to handle Falun Gong cases in the region. Prosecutor Chen Liuyanghui indicted him on June 7 and moved the case to the Liuyang City Court.
05.02.2023 – Shaanxi woman dies at 53 in the persecution of her faith
After the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual discipline, in 1999, Ms. Fang Liting and her family were subjected to arrests, incarceration and torture. The long term mental distress took a toll on her health. The Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province resident passed away on January 19, 2023. She was 53.
Ms. Fang, a graduate of Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, took up Falun Gong before the persecution began. Her father-in-law, Mr. Yang Hengqing, the vice president of Xi’an University of Science and Technology, her mother-in-law, Ms. Long Aiqin, a retired university employee, as well as her brother-in-law, Mr. Yang Zhaojun, also practice Falun Gong
06.02.2023 – Abliz Abdulhek, Uyghur author of “independence or death,” has passed away
One day, a wife of a Uyghur activist reproached her husband, “You work all day, and you are always busy. Even so, China has never once called you a terrorist.” The husband replied with an apology, “That is indeed unfortunate. Let’s be patient. Once the book I’m currently writing gets published, I hope China will add me to the terrorist list.” This family anecdote is typical of the Uyghurs’ reaction to China’s accusation.
When a 2003 Chinese white paper accused the book by Abliz Abdulheq, “Independence or Death,” of being the separatists’ “terrorist handbook,’’ I congratulated him over the phone. He accepted my congratulations and expressed his happiness. He said, “This is the power of truth. If you have the weapon of truth, any tyrant in the world will surrender to you, directly, or indirectly, openly, or covertly.”