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CHINA:Religious issues & persecution – Bimonthly Digest 16-31 October

CHINA: Religious persecution and issues – Bimonthly Digest 16-31 October

 

General

23.10.2023 – 10 things to know about China’s policies on religion

Pewresearch – Earlier this year, China issued new rules on religious activity that tighten oversight of clergy and congregations.

The rules are part of a long-standing strategy by the Chinese government to align religion with communism and ensure loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which espouses and promotes atheism. More recently, such rules have also been intended to bring religion in line with traditional Chinese culture and with “Xi Jinping Thought,” the Chinese leader’s blend of Marxism and nationalism.

Earlier this year, China issued new rules on religious activity that tighten oversight of clergy and congregations.

The rules are part of a long-standing strategy by the Chinese government to align religion with communism and ensure loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which espouses and promotes atheism. More recently, such rules have also been intended to bring religion in line with traditional Chinese culture and with “Xi Jinping Thought,” the Chinese leader’s blend of Marxism and nationalism.

Continue reading…

 

26.10.2023 – ‘Sinicization means obedience’

ChinaAid – A fierce debate continues regarding the Communist Party’s policy of Sinicization of religion. During a symposium in Hong Kong, an anonymous scholar described it as “obedience.”

The symposium took place at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as it celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Divinity School Of Chung Chi College.

It was titled “Spirituality, Culture, and Chinese Societies: Interdisciplinary and Interfaith Dialogues,” on October 6. Scholars expressed their views on Sinicization. One scholar quoted an anonymous scholar, stating, “To put it simply, Sinicization means obedience,” but argued that attempts at transformation would not succeed. Another scholar remarked, “Claiming one’s own culture as unique alone can bring danger.”

Continue reading…

 

24.10.2023 – ‘ Religious belief ‘ survey form sent to Shandong students and their families.

ChinaAid – Recently, Shandong province sent out a religious belief survey form to K-12 families. The form inquired about students’ and family members’ religious beliefs.

The survey form contains questions for students, including basic information like name, class, and address. However, it also asks about their religious beliefs, when the student became a believer and their reason for becoming a believer. The questions don’t end there. Questions continue, asking children where they meet for religious gatherings, the frequency of the meetings, and the student’s attitude towards religious beliefs.

Each question requires detailed answers. Students are not the only ones filling out the form either. Every close family member must answer similar questions, like basic information and whether they attend religious gatherings. All of these questions will be used to further persecute all religious minorities in Shandong.

Continue reading…

 

Buddhists

30.10.2023 – ‘Tibetans in Tibet were so happy to see him finally’

Free Tibet – Throughout 2023, Free Tibet’s research partner, Tibet Watch, has been conducting a series of interviews with a group of newly arrived Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, northern India, who escaped from occupied Tibet.

Due to its length, we have divided this latest account into three parts. Parts one and two are also available on our website.

In this final part, the refugee, a forty-year-old woman from central Tibet, details how the Chinese government has invested significant money in civilian and military infrastructure on Tibet’s borders with India, describes the effects of the residential boarding school system on the Tibetan language and briefly talks about the reaction inside Tibet to Tibetans seeing a video of the Dalai Lama in early 2023.

Continue reading…

 

Falun Gong

 

30.10.2023 – Falun Gong surgeon raped in prison and forced to drink urine

Bitter Winter – Li Lizhuang was arrested and sentenced to more than ten years in jail for promoting the “Nine True Word Meditation” during the COVID pandemic.

The case of orthopedic surgeon Li Lizhuang is one Falun Gong practitioners have managed to bring to national and even international attention through their skilled use of social media, but now new horrific details have emerged.

Li, born in 1973, graduated from Harbin Medical University in 1995. In the same year, he started practicing Falun Gong. He was an attending physician at the Orthopedic Surgery Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University and seemed to be promised a brilliant career.

Continue reading…

 

29.10.2023 – Disabled in the persecution of Falun Gong, 65-year-old woman faces prison sentence again

Minghui – Having become disabled due to toxic injection while serving time for practicing Falun Gong, a 65-year-old woman is facing prison sentence again for her faith.

Ms. Bian Lihua, of Benxi City, Liaoning Province, was arrested at home on April 22, 2022 by eight officers of the Qianjin Police Station. Only one officer wore the police uniform. They raided her place without a search warrant. She demanded to know who they were, the officer in police uniform quickly flashed his ID while standing over three feet away. Ms. Bian’s collection of over 80 Falun Gong books, laptop, music player and other personal items were confiscated.

Continue reading…

 

25.10.2023 – Retired worker faces second prison term for practicing Falun Gong

Minghui – Having been sentenced to three years for practicing Falun Gong, a 65-year-old retired worker is facing a prison sentence again following his latest arrest eight months ago.

Mr. Zhou Yubao, of Shifang City, Sichuan Province, was arrested on February 24, 2023, while mailing a letter. The police raided his home and put him in criminal detention at the Shifang City Detention Center.

Mr. Zhou’s family hired lawyer Zhang from Beijing on March 1, 2023. The lawyer and the family soon went to the detention center to visit Mr. Zhou. He told them that the police violated the law while handling his case, including arresting and raiding his home without showing their IDs or a search warrant. Only one arresting officer was in uniform and all of the more than a dozen officers who raided his home were in plainclothes. They did not provide a list of confiscated items as required by law.

Continue reading…

 

Protestants

01.11.2023 – Street Evangelist Chen Wensheng arrested for the umpteenth time

Bitter Winter – The former drug addict and popular character among Chinese Christians is in jail again in Hunan. He has been detained more than 100 times.

I personally know Chen Wensheng and wrote about him in “Bitter Winter” last year. He is a larger-than-life character who is well-known among Chinese Christians.

Chen is a former drug addict who struggled with his addiction problems for ten years. He overcame them when he converted to Christianity, and then decided to share his experience with others by becoming a street preacher. He traveled with a cross carrying Christian messages throughout various Chinese provinces and even, with some co-workers, to Vietnam, where he was arrested and deported back to China.

Continue reading…

 

31.10.2023 – House Church graduation ceremony interrupted, Christians taken away.

ChinaAid – On the morning of October 28, 2023, police interfered in the graduation ceremony of Early Rain Covenant Church’s “Workers’ College”. Some Christians were taken away.

At 10:00 AM, the church held a graduation ceremony for the Workers’ College in a conference room of a hotel near the Jiangxin Building. Over 30 church members attended the ceremony.

In the midst of the worship service, more than officials from the Political Security Bureau (formerly known as State Security) and the Civil Religion Bureau suddenly entered the room. More than 20 individuals, including police and community officials, interrupted the ceremony and declared the gathering illegal.

Continue reading…

 

24.10.2023 – The Christian exodus from China

Mercatornet – “Run” (润) has been one of the hottest words in the Chinese language since 2021. A clever wordplay on both the Chinese pronunciation and English meaning of the word, “run” refers to the recent trend of emigrating from an increasingly restrictive and authoritarian China for greener pastures overseas.

This emigration wave, which began shortly after Xi Jinping amended the Constitution in 2018 to abolish term limits, took off during Covid and has only accelerated since. This can be reflected in the surge of illegal Chinese immigrants arriving at the US-Mexican border. In the 2023 fiscal year alone, US Border Patrol has apprehended 24,000 Chinese migrants at the Southern border, up 1,115% (i.e., 11.5 times more) than the previous fiscal year. Chinese migrants crossing the Darien Gap on their way to the US has become a common sight, with both English and Chinese-language media offering extensive coverage of this new phenomenon.

Continue reading…

 

17.10.2023 – Government controlled churches must establish ‘surveillance’ boards

ChinaAid – Government-controlled churches in China held a supervisory board conference in Shanghai on September 26. During the meeting, they discussed a set of rules for the supervisory board and another set of methods for implementing these measures. In reality, the supervisory board functions as a “surveillance” board, aiming to facilitate mutual reporting, disclosure, restraint, and supervision within the Christian community and among Christians.

On October 2nd, the official website of the China Christian Council (CCC) and National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), reported that their supervisory board was held in Shanghai. According to their report, Pastor Gao Feng, the chairman of the supervisory board of the TSPM, reviewed the main work of the council over the past five years. This work included convening seven board meetings and formulating two sets of new measures, both of which have not yet been officially disclosed. Chairman Gao Feng mentioned that the provincial CCCs and TSPMs in eleven provinces have established supervisory. Through discussions and exchanges, these supervisory boards may better fulfill their roles in future work on religion.

Continue reading…

 





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CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief: Bimonthly FORB newsletter (01-15.07.2022)

CHINA: Freedom of religion or belief: Bimonthly FORB newsletter (01-15.07.2022)

Buddhists

 

15.07.2022 – Chi Jie: Death of Tibetan activist in jail confirmed after six years

As reported to Bitter Winter, authorities in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) have now admitted that Chi Jie, a well-known Tibetan activist from Mengqing village, in Biru county, under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Nagku, in the northern part of TAR, died in jail in 2016, allegedly “of old age.” This confirms previous unofficial reports that he had been tortured to death in the same year 2016. 

The story of Chi Jie is strictly connected with the 2013 demonstrations in Tibet against the forced “re-education” courses thousands of Tibetan Buddhists were ordered to submit to. Buddhists were also upset that prayer flags had been removed, and mandatory Chinese flags were placed on the roofs of each home. 

Continue reading…

 

11.07.2022 – CCP “celebrates” Dalai Lama birthday with anti-religious exhibitions

July 6 was the 87th birthday of the XIV Dalai Lama. Buddhists celebrated all over the world—and even in Tibet, clandestinely, as any celebration was strictly forbidden, and public security was in a state of maximum alert.

For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the birthday was an opportunity for more anti-Dalai-Lama, anti-Buddhist, and anti-religious campaigns throughout Tibet.

Continue reading…

 

04.07.2022 – Monastery forced to relocate to make way to hydropower station

Chinese authorities in Amdo, eastern Tibet are planning to relocate a 19th-century Tibetan monastery against the wishes of its resident monks and local Tibetans. The monastery, located in Drakkar County (Ch: Xinghai) in Amdo, will make way for a hydropower station to be constructed on the nearby River Machu, also known as the Yellow River.

Continue reading…

 

04.07.2022 – Tibetan woman arrested for keeping Dalai Lama’s photo at home

Chinese police arrested a Tibetan woman named Zumkar on 23 June 2022, after finding her in possession of a photo of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet.

The arrest took place at her home where the police found a photo of the Dalai Lama on an altar, a sacred part of Tibetan households where religious objects like statues and scripture are kept, and prayers are offered. Four days later, on 28 June, the police transferred her nearly 500 kilometres away to Lhasa, a 12-hour drive south from her hometown of Tsarang Township, Amdo County in Nagchu. Other residences in the area are also known to have been investigated by the authorities for photos of the Dalai Lama.

Continue reading…

 

Protestants

14.07.2022 – “Remember their names”: Early Rain survivor testifies to persecution in China

At the 2022 IRF Summit, ChinaAid invited Ren Ruiting, a former member of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, to give a presentation. Ren gave a three-part testimony on her personal experience of the Chinese government’s persecution of Christian faith communities and individuals.

Due to China’s religious persecution, Ren Ruiting and her family fled to Taiwan in 2019. Due to restrictions imposed by Taiwan’s refugee policy, under the coordination of ChinaAid, her family came to the United States in 2021. They currently reside in Florida.

Continue reading…

 

14.07.2022 – Church in East China inspires elderly believers to participate in ministries

Elderly believers in a church located in an East China city make up nearly 70% of the congregation. Despite the small number of believers, the church’s various ministries are in full swing, with the elderly believers outnumbering younger believers in participation. How have they achieved it? Recently, a pastor of the church showed their practical experience to the Gospel Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper.

Continue reading…

 

07.07.2022 – Christian banned from platform for “illegal religious content”

Since the implementation of the Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services on March 1, China’s online religious information has been severely censored, and Chinese cyberspace continues to shrink.

A Christian in China has been banned from using a smart platform for a year after authorities accused her of “publishing illegal religious content,” according to a report from China Christian Daily.

The Chinese Christian who has been banned from posting religious content was recently told that her posts involved “illegal religious” information and violated one of the platform’s regulations. This was after she received a complaint from the DingTalk platform, where she learned that the religious messages she posted were classified as illegal religious information.

Continue reading…

 

06.07.2022 – Wife of imprisoned Christian updated for the first time in seven months

On June 30, Li Xin received an update regarding her husband Brother Zhao Weikai, a co-worker of Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church. Zhao was arrested almost one year ago. The last update she received was more than seven months ago. Imprisoned in Fangshan County Detention Center, brother Zhao is very peaceful and in good health.

Continue reading…

 

Falun Gong

13.07.2022 – Mother and daughter sentenced to prison for their shared faith

A 45-year-old woman and her 71-year-old mother were recently sentenced to eight and four years, respectively, for their faith in Falun Gong.

More than ten plainclothes officers broke into Ms. Zhu Enhua’s home in Qujing City, Yunnan Province, on October 3, 2021, after deceiving her into opening the door by pretending to be interested in her rental property. One officer held Ms. Zhu’s arms behind her back and the others began to ransack her five-story apartment building. They searched every room for Falun Gong materials, including inside the pillows and comforters.

Continue reading…

09.07.2022 – Reported in the first half of 2022: 366 Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith

A total of 366 Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith were confirmed in the first half of 2022.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Since then, countless practitioners have been arrested, detained, sentenced, and tortured for upholding their faith. But due to strict information censorship in China, the incidents can’t always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.

The newly confirmed cases include one that took place in 2013, two in 2014, one in 2016, one in 2017, one in 2018, one in 2019, 12 in 2020, 145 in 2021, and 202 in 2022. For the 202 prison terms that have been handed down in 2022 so far, 45 were in January, 36 in February, 44 in March, 37 in April, 22 in May, and 17 in June.

Continue reading…

 

09.07.2022 – Sichuan man dies after enduring three years of brutal torture in prison and constant harassment after his release

Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual discipline also known as Falun Dafa, in July 1999, Mr. Sun, a former credit union director, was repeatedly arrested, had his home ransacked and held in brainwashing centers. He was given 1.5 years at Xinhua Forced Labor Camp in 2003 for distributing Falun Gong materials.

His second to last arrest was on December 13, 2016 for talking to people about Falun Gong. Two people refused to listen and reported him to the police. When the police came half an hour later, they attempted to take pictures of Mr. Sun with two copies of Falun Gong materials. He didn’t comply.

Continue reading…

 

06.07.2022 – Retired judge sentenced to six years for talking to people about Falun Gong in her neighborhood

A Guiyang City, Guizhou Province resident was sentenced to six years in prison in late 2021 for spreading information about Falun Gong. Her appeal has been rejected by a higher court.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Zhou Lin, 63, is a retired judge of the Weining County Court in Guizhou Province. She was arrested on July 30, 2020, after being reported by the property management security in her own neighborhood, for talking to the residents about Falun Gong. The police ransacked her home and held her at the Sanjiang Detention Center in Guiyang City.

Continue reading…





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RUSSIA : Freedom of religion or belief : Special Bimonthly FORB digest (16-30.09.2021)

RUSSIA : Special Bimonthly FORB digest (16-30.09.2021)

28.09.2021 – Moscow officials demand from religious organizations information about priests trained abroad

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239090/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

Head of the Department of National Policy and Interregional Relations of the city of Moscow Vitaly Suchkov sent a letter to religious organizations asking for data on clergy and employees of religious organizations trained abroad, reports on September 28 IAC “SOVA”, recognized by the Russian authorities as a foreign agent.

The letters were sent out in anticipation of the entry into force of the next amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations”.

25.09.2021 – Moscow 007s arrest 15 Taliban sympathisers

Four Tajiks and one Russian jailed; the others are being sent back to their countries of origin. According to the FSSB, they organised attacks “against the infidels”. Together with China and Pakistan, the Kremlin has opened a channel of dialogue with the Afghan Taliban: it could come to regret it.

Continue reading…

24.09.2021 – Six to six and a half years in prison for the faith. Court in Volgograd sentenced four of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/240821.html

On September 23, 2021, the Traktorozavodsky district court of Volgograd sentenced Valery Rogozin, Igor Yegozaryan, Sergey Melnik, and Denis Peresunko to long prison terms for praying and discussing the Bible with fellow believers. They were taken into custody and will be kept in pre-trial detention until the sentence comes into force.

Continue reading…

24.09.2021 – The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation declared Scientology an “undesirable organization”

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239055/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation declared the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises and the Ron Hubbard Library undesirable organizations. As “Forbes” reports on September 24, the corresponding statement was published in the telegram channel of the department.

23.09.2021 – From October 3, the state will be able to ban clergymen. Russian legislation on religion has reached the point of absurdity

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239040/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

Another law, “On Amending the Federal Law ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations,'” will take effect soon, on 3 October 2021. Religious groups resonated with one of its clauses requiring clergy and personnel of religious organizations to undergo obligatory re-evaluation in Russia after receiving religious education abroad.

23.09.2021 – Five Jehovah’s Witnesses sent to prison colony

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/368386/

A court in Volgograd issued real prison terms to five Jehovah’s Witnesses, finding them guilty in a case regarding extremism. The defendants did not acknowledge guilt and they intend to appeal the verdict. Relatives of the convicts called the verdict expected.

Continue reading…

22.09.2021 – Pentecostal Bishop Albert Ratkin expelled from the Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith – Pentecostals after calling on the head of the Union to resign

Link to full text (only in Russian) : https://credo.press/239038/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

Pentecostal Bishop Albert Ratkin, who earlier made accusations against the leadership of the Russian United Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith – Pentecostals (ROSKhVE), was expelled from the union.

22.09.2021 – Believers’ wedding ceremony became an event for the detention center in the Town of Anzhero-Sudzhensk. How religious persecution breaks the lives of innocent people

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/221614.html

One of Jehovah’s Witness Yuriy Usanov, 29, of the town of Tayga, had his pleasant pre-wedding troubles suddenly ended when he was taken to the penitentiary in April 2021 for his faith. His fiancée, Irina Yagunova, was long denied visitation until they were married on September 9, 2021 – right in the jail.

Continue reading…

22.09.2021 – The Muslim religious group Jamaat Red Plowman was added to the Russian register of terrorist organizations

Link to full text (only in Russian) : https://credo.press/239025/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation added the religious group Krasny Pakhar Jamaat to the register of terrorist organizations. The court ruling took effect on August 31.

Krasny Pakhar Jamaat became the 36th such group on the federal list of organizations declared terrorist groups in Russia.

 22.09.21 – Three-year-old case against Jehovah’s Witnesses delayed again

Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/239017/

On 16 September, a Shuya city court of Ivanovo oblast returned to the prosecutor the case of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Dmitry and Elena Mikhailov, Svetlana Ryzhkova, Svetlana Shishinaia, and Aleksei Arkhipov. The court concluded that the indictment was composed with violations of the requirements of the Criminal Procedural Code, according to the SOVA Center for News and Analysis (which is considered by the authorities of the R.F. to be a foreign agent, but which challenges this decision).

Continue reading…

21.09.21 – Yet another prosecution of a Jehovah’s Witness

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=77836

Investigators in Tambov opened a criminal case against a man suspected of arranging the activity of a religious organization that is forbidden in the R.F., the “Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia,” the investigation department of the S.K.R. [Investigative Committee of Russia] for the region reports.

Continue reading…

21.09.2021 – Violent persecution mounting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russian-occupied Crimea

Serhiy Lyulin was seized by FSB officers while in Russia, thrown into the boot of a minivan and driven, in handcuffs and bound with scotch tape, for 16 hours to occupied Simferopol. He is one of an ever-increasing number of Crimean Jehovah’s Witnesses facing violent FSB ‘operations’ and imprisonment for worshipping together and discussing the Bible. Lyulin is now remanded in custody, in a ‘special bloc’ cell with world-respected Crimean Tatar leader and political prisoner Nariman Dzhelyal.

Continue reading…

16.09.21 – An appeal in Birobidzhan confirmed the verdict of Tatiana Zagulina. The believer was sentenced to 2.5 years of probation

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/161617.html

On September 16, 2021, the court of the Jewish Autonomous Region did not satisfy the appeal of 37-year-old Tatyana Zagulina. The verdict entered into force – the believer was assigned 2 years and 6 months of suspended sentence and 2 years of restriction of freedom.

Continue reading…

Further reading about FORB in Russia on HRWF website





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CHINA : Special bimonthly FoRB newsletter (16-31.07.2021)

Special bimonthly FoRB newsletter (16-31.07.2021)

General

21.07.21 – Religious books publicly burned, DVDs bulldozed in Yunnan

Totalitarian regimes have a thing for burning books, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) joyfully burn dissident books and destroys other material not approved of by the regime.

Continue reading…

15.07.21 – Religious freedom is dying in China

Against a backdrop of pandemic restrictions along with genocide allegations in Xinjiang, the year 2020 saw Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members vigorously preparing the populace to participate in the party’s centenary celebrations

Continue reading…

Uyghur Muslims

15.07.21 – UHRP hails unanimous senate passage of Uyghur forced labor prevention act

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) welcomes the passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in the U.S. Senate, and urges swift action by the House of Representatives.

Continue reading…

Catholics

22.07.21 – Catholic bishop and 10 priests detained in Henan

The priests, conscientious objectors who reject the Vatican-China deal, have been released after “legal education,” the fate of Bishop Zhang remains unknown.

Continue reading…

Tibetan Buddhists

23.07.21 – Tibetan political prisoner convicted for demanding freedom has sentence reduced

Tsultrim Gyatso’s sentence was reduced by 5 months last year after Chinese court claims he has “reformed” after showing “remorse”

Free Tibet’s research partner Tibet Watch has learned that Tibetan political prisoner, Tsultrim Gyatso, was handed a six-month reduction of his prison sentence in April last year.

Continue reading…

20.07.21 – Four Tibetans detained after authorities step up mobile phone checks

Authorities in Serthar County have been increasingly checking Tibetans’ phones for images of the Dalai Lama

Chinese authorities have arbitrarily arrested four Tibetans while digitally investigating individual mobile phones in eastern Tibet.

Continue reading…

Protestants

20.07.21 – “Sinicization of christianity” in full speed after the 100th anniversary

Christians are ordered to “completely get rid of the foreign religion.” “Sinicizing” really means “identifying with the leadership of the CCP.”

Continue reading…

Falun Gong

31.07.21 – Elderly woman sentenced to six years for giving out a flyer

A Huainan City, Anhui Province, woman was recently sentenced to six years for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Continue reading…

31.07.21 – Guangdong man faces trial for his faith, lawyer pursues State compensation for torture-induced disability

A resident of Maoming City, Guangdong Province, is facing trial for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Continue reading…

29.07.21 – Spying on Falun Gong: The man who sold two practitioners for $300

The heinous system of delation was at work in Anhui province.

Continue reading…

16.07.21 – Daughter and blind mother both convicted for their faith

A Shenyang City, Liaoning Province resident was imprisoned on July 1, 2021, to serve a two-year term for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

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Further reading about FORB in China on HRWF website





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IRAN : News Digest about Baha’is and Christians in Iran in July

IRAN : News Digest about Baha’is and Christians in Iran in July (02.08.2021)

Baha’is

Touraj Amini released from jail in Karaj

Hrana / Sens Daily (29.07.2021) – https://cutt.ly/gQjjjJs 

Baha’i researcher and author Touraj Amini was released from Karaj Prison on July 28 after serving a six-month prison sentence. In June, 2020, he was sentenced by the Revolutionary Court in Karaj to one year in prison and two years of exile from the city, but this was reduced to a six-month sentence by the Review Court. He was charged with “propaganda against the regime.”

On August 4, 2019, security forces searched his home, seizing books and notes and a laptop. Mr. Amini was previously detained for a short time, in March 2008. His books include one on the role of religious minorities in the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911, “The Hidden Awakening”, on the relationship between Iranians intellectuals and the Babi and Baha’is Faiths, and a five-volume collection of source documents relating to the Baha’is in Iran.

 

Four Baha’is sentenced by a Revolutionary Court in Yazd

Hrana/ Sens Daily (21.06.2021) – https://cutt.ly/uQjkq9Y – A Revolutionary Court in Yazd, presided over by Judge Reza Javad Musavi has sentenced four Baha’is to two years and eight months in prison for membership of anti-regime groups, and to eight month in prison for propaganda against the regime.

Amin Dhulfaqaari was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on May 21, and released on bail on June 23. He was accused of teaching the Baha’i Faith. Mahbubeh Mithaaqiyaan-Dehqaan was arrested by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence on June 1, and bailed on June 16, 2020. Mitra Bandi-Amirabaadi-Baaghi and Heyva Yazdaan-Mahdiabaadi-Bahifar were arrested on May 30, and released on bail on September 1 after three months of detention.

Mrs. Bani-Mahdiabadi and Mrs Yazdaan-Mahdiabaadi had also been arrested in late November, 2017, for teaching music to children. The report says that both were given suspended sentences, which have expired, but does not indicate when this occurred.

 

Sina Kamali Sarvestaani bailed in Shiraz

Hrana/ Sens Daily (11.07.2021) – https://cutt.ly/yQjkSr6 – Sina Kamali Sarvestaani, who was arrested in Shiraz on June 15, was released on bail on July 11. After his arrest, he was taken first to a detention centre run by the intelligence arm of the Republican Guard. A short time later he was transferred to Adelabad prison. On July 3 he was permitted telephone contact with his family from Adelabad prison.

 

Four Bahais released in Bushehr

Hrana / Sens Daily (05.07.2021) – https: https://cutt.ly/TQjlif0 – Mrs. Minou Reyaazati, Ehteraam Shakhi, Farideh Jaaberi and Mr. Asadollah Jaaberi, Baha’i prisoners in Bushehr prison, were recently given furlough and have now been told they will not be required to return to prison. They were among seven Baha’is sentenced to three years in prison and a two-year ban on leaving the country by a Revolutionary Court in May 2019. These four Baha’is began their sentences on January 25, 2020. They were charged with “membership in the Baha’i group and sect with the intent of disrupting national security.”

All seven were arrested in raids on Baha’i homes in Bushehr on February 2018. They were released on bail six weeks later, and tried by the Revolutionary Court in May, 2019. Their sentences were confirmed by the Provincial Review Court in November, 2019.

 

Christians

Christian convert begins prison sentence for ‘propaganda against Islamic Republic’

Article 18 (28.07.2021) – Christian convert Hamed Ashouri has begun his 10-month prison sentence for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”.

The 31-year-old submitted himself to Karaj’s Central Prison yesterday.

Before doing so, he recorded a short video, in which he explained that he had been arrested for his Christian activities. 

Hamed was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents two and a half years ago as he left his home in Fardis on the morning of 23 February 2019.

He was then taken to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he was held in solitary confinement for 10 days, before being transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison, also in Karaj, for another two days.

During interrogations, Hamed was offered a large monthly salary if he “cooperated” by becoming an informant against other Christians.

When he refused, he was beaten. 

Hamed was finally released on bail after submitting guarantees in the form of payslips.

Hamed and another family member were then forced to attend “re-education” sessions with an Islamic cleric.

After four such sessions, Hamed refused to participate in any more, and it was then that the court proceedings against him began.

He was summoned to begin his prison sentence after the failure of his appeal on 26 June.

Hamed was initially told to submit himself to prison within 10 days of his failed appeal, but he was later given a few weeks longer.

Christians summoned to answer charges of ‘propaganda against the Islamic Republic’

Article 18 (23.07.2021) – Eight Christian converts in the southwestern city of Dezful have been summoned to answer charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

The eight Christians – Hojjat Lotfi Khalaf, Esmaeil Narimanpour, Alireza Varak-Shah, Mohammad Ali (Davoud) Torabi, Alireza Roshanaei Zadeh, Masoud Nabi, Mohammad Kayidgap, and Mohsen Saadati Zadeh – were summoned on Tuesday, 20 July, to appear at the 4th branch of the prosecutor’s office of the Civil and Revolutionary Court of Dezful within five days.

Four of the men – Hojjat, Esmaeil, Davoud, and Alireza Varak-Shah – were arrested in April and released two days later, after signing statements pledging to appear when summoned.

The charges against the eight men fall under Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code, one of two articles controversially amended earlier this year. 

It is not yet clear whether the charges against the eight Christians will contain the new phrasing of Article 500, but this was the case when three Christian converts in Karaj were given the maximum sentences of five years in prison last month for “engaging in propaganda that educates in a deviant way contrary to the holy religion of Islam”.

Christian convert Reza Zaeemi (40) from Karaj turned himself in at Karaj Central Prison

Article 18 (16.07.2021) – An Iranian human rights lawyer says the latest move by the judiciary to stifle the independence of lawyers shows the presence of “even a small number of human rights defenders is intolerable for the judiciary”.

Hossein Ahmadiniaz, who now lives and works in Europe, was speaking to Article18 after new regulations were introduced last month, giving the judiciary the power to issue and revoke lawyers’ licenses – a power until now held by Iran’s independent Bar Association.

“For 42 years, the Iranian judiciary has been trying to undermine the relative independence of the Bar Association and gain more control over it,” Mr Ahmadiniaz explained.

“All the efforts and goals of the Iranian judiciary are to suppress independent lawyers and human rights defenders. The judiciary itself has become a tool of repression and violation of the law of advocacy.”

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‘Just because I’m Christian, I’m deprived of any promotion’

Article 18 (13.07.21) – An Iranian-Assyrian Christian claims he was denied a promotion and received much less compensation than he was entitled to after an injury at work – only because he is a Christian.

“Farough” told IranWire that after losing three fingers due to a lack of safety provisions at his factory, “they were supposed to do an expert examination and pay me [compensation], but when I was paid, I realised that the amount I received was much lower based on the fact that I was a religious minority”.

He added that when he returned to work, he was offered an office job due to his injury, so he decided to get a university degree to further his career; but after gaining a degree in business management – in an attempt to secure a promotion – Farough says a Muslim colleague was promoted instead of him.

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Iran’s recognised Christians – the unlikely allies of the Islamic Republic

Article 18 (06.07.21) – The Iranian state propaganda machine continues to use the country’s recognised Christian minority groups – of Armenian and Assyrian descent – as tools to speak out against the rise of evangelical Christianity in Iran.

The latest example is a video published yesterday by Roshangar Media – which introduces itself as a “centre for the study of religions and sects” – in which senior Armenian and Assyrian representatives distance themselves from Iran’s burgeoning house-church movement, denounced by the regime as “enemy groups” of a “Zionist cult”.

“We do not encourage people to change their religion,” says Iranian-Armenian Catholic archbishop Sarkis Davidian in the video. “People must remain in their religion.” 

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Further reading about FORB in Iran on HRWF website


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