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CHINA: Special Bimonthly newsletter freedom of religion (01.04 -15.04.2021)

General

04.04.21 – Bloody Holy Spirit Members Sentenced in Jiangxi

Devotees from the Ji’an area of the Taiwan-based religious movement received jail terms up to 4 years and six months.

Continue reading…

01.04.21 – 181 association of disciples members arrested in Ningxia

Local authorities claim this is a fruit of their model policy of offering large rewards to those who denounce devotees of banned religious groups.

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Protestants

13.04.21 – Chengdu early rain covenant church reports recent mysterious return of CCP confiscated items

Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church (Sichuan Province) reported that on April 09, unidentified individuals mysteriously returned several Christian items the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had confiscated in the past. That morning as Sister Zhang performed her duty sweeping the road in Pidu District, a yellow car stopped a few yards away from her.

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09.04.21 – Elder Zhang Chunlei meets with lawyer for first time; CCP changes administrative to criminal detention

On April 6, Elder Zhang Chunlei of Ren’ai Reformed Church, detained since March 16, met with his lawyer for the first time. Initially, as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities detained Elder Zhang on administrative detention for 11 days since March 17, they should have released him March 28. Now, however, as CCP officials have put him under criminal detention for a “fraud” charge, Elder Zhang’s family reported that they do not yet know the length of time he will be imprisoned.

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06.04.21 – China institutes new crackdown on ‘illegal social organizations’ to go after house churches

China has launched a campaign to increase restrictions on five types of social organizations that the government has deemed illegal, which includes house churches that aren’t members of the Chinese Communist Party-backed Three-Self Patriotic Association.

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03.04.21 – China will stamp out five “illegal social organizations” including house churches

According to China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), China will launch a campaign to toughen its clampdown on five types of illegal social organizations.

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01.04.21 – Chinese Christians held in secretive brainwashing camps: sources

Authorities in China are detaining Christians in secretive, mobile “transformation” facilities to make them renounce their faith, RFA has learned.

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Uyghur Muslims

08.04.21 – Pro-Uyghur protests restart in London— and the “Lonely Jew” is there

As lockdown begins to ease in Britain, demonstrations outside the Chinese Embassy in London started again. Bitter Winter was there, too.

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04.04.21 – A Jewish-Uyghur solidarity passover seder with a difference

Each of the Four Cups was raised to symbolize Uyghur’s captivity and hoped-for deliverance.

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03.04.21 – The sad story of Uyghur soccer proves China unfit to host Olympics

Uyghurs love soccer, but Chinese authorities do not love Uyghur players and supporters. Their discrimination is another argument for an Olympic boycott.

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The Church of Almighty God

09.04.21 – Slave labor in Chinese jails: CAG women prisoners of conscience speak

It is not only about Xinjiang camps. Church of Almighty God female members tell how they had to work 13–15 hours per day in “regular” jails.

Continue reading…

Falun Gong

14.04.21 – 80-year-old Hubei man arrested for practicing Falun Gong

An 80-year-old Wuhan City, Hubei Province resident was arrested on the evening of March 28, 2021, for his faith in Falun Gong.

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

Continue reading…

14.04.21 – Heilongjiang woman sentenced to over six years based on fabricated evidence

A Hailin City, Heilongjiang Province resident was framed and sentenced to six years and three months for her faith in Falun Gong on March 30, 2021.

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

Continue reading…

14.04.21 – A nine-year jail penalty for distributing Falun Gong leaflets

Persecution continues in China—and a serious attack by masked thugs also happened in Hong Kong. Wang Jianmin is a quiet, soft-spoken retired medical doctor from Laiyang, a county-level city in Shandong province, famous in China for its production of tasty pears. On March 26, 2021, 65-year-old Wang was told by the Intermediate People’s Court of Yantai city, Shandong, that her crimes were so serious that she could not expect any leniency from the judges.

Continue reading…

Catholics

13.04.21 – Hebei closes orphanage for the disabled run by the Sisters of Zhaoxian

Sisters and staff will be banned from visiting children and young people under the age of 18. The reasons: The dismantling of the structures of the unofficial Church and the prohibition of evangelization for minors under the age of 18.

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CHINA : Special weekly FoRB newsletter on freedom of religion or belief (15-21.02.2021)

Tibetan Buddhists

16.02.21 – When the Dalai Lama dies, his reincarnation will be a religious crisis. Here’s what could happen

A decade ago, the Dalai Lama set himself a significant deadline.

The best-known living Buddhist figure in the world said that when he turned 90 years old, he would decide whether he should be reincarnated — potentially ending a role that has been key to Tibetan Buddhism for more than 600 years, but in recent decades has become a political lightning rod in China.

Continue reading…

16.02.21 – Gatherings banned in Tibetan areas of China during Lunar New Year

Authorities in Tibetan areas of China are restricting travel and public gatherings during the Lunar New Year period, called Losar in Tibetan, with punishments threatened for those violating the bans, Tibetan sources say.

Continue reading…

Uyghur Muslims

18.02.21 – Faith leaders condemn Uyghur persecution

Faith leaders across Ireland have condemned the persecution of Uyghurs and other Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province in a statement in which they also express solidarity with Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and Christians in China who, they warn, are facing “the worst crackdown on freedom of religion or belief since the Cultural Revolution”.

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18.02.21 – Two Uyghur students dead, four injured in fire at forced labor scheme dorm

Two Uyghur high school students who were sent to pick cotton as part of a forced labor scheme in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) died last autumn in a dormitory fire, according to official sources in the region, where forced labor practices have sparked an increasing global outcry.

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17.02.21 – US President Biden warns China of ‘repercussions’ for rights abuses in Xinjiang

China will face “repercussions” if it continues to perpetrate human rights abuses against its people, U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday, including Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), where Washington has said authorities are carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity.

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17.02.21 – Prominent religious leaders persecuted in Xinjiang

One CCP strategy to destroy Uyghur identity in Xinjiang is to identify and jail prominent figures of the Muslim religion.

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Falun Gong

21.02.21 – Having served 9.5 years and losing her son, 80-year-old woman sentenced again in the persecution of her faith

Having served two prison terms totaling 9.5 years, an 80-year-old woman was sentenced to another 3 years in October 2020 for her faith in Falun Gong. Ms. Zhao Yulan was recently taken to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison to serve time.

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21.02.21 – Widowed 79-year-old woman faces financial devastation after serving time for her faith

When Ms. Wang Fengying, a 79-year-old resident of Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, went to withdraw some cash on February 1, 2021, she was surprised to discover 5,000 yuan missing from her account.

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21.02.21 – After a seven-year prison sentence, Guangdong woman’s whereabouts still unknown

After a woman in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to seven years in prison for her faith in Falun Gong, her family is still being kept in the dark regarding her whereabouts.

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19.02.21 – A life in jail: Falun Gong practitioner arrested again, sentenced to 14 years

Ma Zhiwu, from Ningzia Hui Autonomous Region, has been in prison for most of the last twenty years. He will remain there for the next decade and more.

Continue reading…

Catholics

19.02.21 – China betrays its deal with the Vatican

Beijing has quietly indicated that it will soon abrogate its “breakthrough” 2018 agreement with the Vatican, which was meant to settle a decades-long dispute over the appointment of bishops in China.

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The Church of Almighty God

16.02.21 – Church of Almighty God refugee cases discussed in new book

Massimo Introvigne and Rosita Šorytė explore while some asylum applications are still rejected, and what can be done about it.

Continue reading…

 

 

 

 

 

 





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RUSSIA: Special Bimonthly Digest on Freedom of Religion or Belief (17-31.01.2021)

29.01.21 – RUSSIA: “The policy of expelling ‘extremists and terrorists'”

After serving sentences as “extremists” for meeting to study and worship, three former prisoners of conscience face expulsion. One was deported, one may be expelled later in 2021, and one remains in detention as he is now stateless and no country has agreed to take him. “I think that the authorities – that is, de facto, the security services – perceive this measure not as an additional punishment, but as a way to get rid of the problem,” says Aleksandr Verkhovsky.

Continue reading…

29.01.21 – The Republic of Tyva became the 61st region of Russia where Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted.

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/7.html

On January 28, 2021 the FSB conducted searches on believers in Kyzyl, the capital of the Tyva Republic. 41 year-old Anatoliy Senin was detained and placed in the temporary detention center. It became known that a criminal case was opened against him under an “extremist” article. In the next two days the court will decide on the question of a believer’s preventive measure.

Continue reading…

26.01.21 – A sentence for discussing the Bible has been imposed in Rostov-on-Don. Galina Parkova received a two-year-three-month suspended sentence

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/6.html

On January 26, 2021, judge of the Leninsky District Court of Rostov-on-Don, Snezhana Fedorova, sentenced Galina Parkova to 2 years and 3 months on probation with the same probation period. The court considered the participation of a believer in peaceful religious meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremism.

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26.01.2021 – Another criminal conviction of Jehovah’s Witnesses woman

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.media/articles/359093/

A court in Rostov-on-Don ruled that the Jehovah’s Witness Galina Parkova is a member of an extremist organization and sentenced her to a suspended sentence of two years and three months imprisonment. The believer refused to admit herself to be guilty.

Continue reading…

25.01.21 – Jehovah’s Witness triumphs in high court over prosecution

Link to full text in Russian : https://www.kavkaz-uzel.media/articles/359063/

Today the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria refused to overturn the verdict of acquittal in the case of Jehovah’s Witness Yury Zalipaev, contrary to the position of the prosecutor’s office. Zalipaev has been granted the right to rehabilitation.

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25.01.21 – Influential church official criticizes Orthodox dissident

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=76588

The head of the synodal Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Ilarion, urged Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev to repent and cease his blasphemy against the church.

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23.01.21 – Prosecutor tries to overturn victory of Jehovah’s Witness in south of Russia

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.media/articles/358950/

The Jehovah’s Witness Yury Zalipaev, whose acquittal is being appealed before the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria, declared that he did not call for extremism, which the materials of the case confirm.

 

Continue reading…

23.01.21 – A Jewish Autonomous Region court sentenced the 43-year-old nurse Anastasiya Sychyeva to two years of suspended sentence for her belief in Jehovah’s God

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/3.html

On January 21, 2021, the judge of the Obluchensky district court of the Jewish Autonomous Region, Olga Afanasyeva, found Anastasiya Sycheva a member of a forbidden organization and sentenced her to 2 years of suspended imprisonment with a 2-year probation period and 6 months of restricted freedom.

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22.01.21 – Udmurtia law enforcement raided the homes and workplaces of believers. A married couple was detained

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/5.html

On January 21, 2021, law enforcement officers conducted searches in seven homes and workplaces of Votkinsk-based Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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22.01.21 – Feliks Makhammadiyev has been released. He was deported from Russia, and reconnected with his wife at the central railway station in Tashkent

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/4.html

After serving three years in prison for his faith, Feliks Makhammadiyev, having been deprived of Russian citizenship because of criminal prosecution, was released in the country of his birth on January 21, 2021. His wife Yevgenia, a Russian citizen, left the Russian Federation and followed him.

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21.01.21 – Nineteen Jehovah’s Witnesses on trial in Birobidzhan region

Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/MkaMKaN

Verdicts were announced for Jehovah’s Witnesses Evgeny Golik and Anastasia Sycheva in the Jewish autonomous oblast. This was reported to OVD-Info by the press service of the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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21.01.21 – Court keeps case of “Moscow Five” Jehovah’s Witnesses open

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=76577

The Presnya court of Moscow extended the period of restriction under house arrest for adherents of the movement of Jehovah’s Witnesses (forbidden in the R.F.)

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20.01.21 – Yevgeniy Golik, 44, of Birobidzhan was convicted for his faith. He received a two-and-half year suspended sentence

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/2.html

On January 20, 2021 Olga Klyuchikova, judge of the Birobidzhan district court of the Jewish Autonomous Region, sentenced Yevgeny Golik under part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an extremist association): 2.5 years of suspended sentence with a probation period of 3 years and restriction of freedom for 1 year.

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18.01.21 – Devotees of forbidden organization of Jehovah’s witnesses to be tried in Stavropol

Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/5ka1UL2

The organizers of the activity of a local division of the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the city of Budennovsk, which is prohibited on Russian territory, will be tried. This was reported by the press service of the Neftekumsk district court.

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18.01.2021 – Case of Jehovah’s witnesses from Neftekimsk reaches court

Link to full text in Russian : https://www.sova-center.ru/religion/news/extremism/counter-extremism/2021/01/d43514/

On 13 January, the criminal case of three Jehovah’s Witnesses reached the Neftekumsk district court of Stavropol territory. They are charged under part 3, article 33, part 1, article 282.2 (arranging the activity of an extremist organization) and part 3, article 33, part 1, article 282.3 (arranging the financing of extremist activity) of the Criminal Code.

Continue reading …

 





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CHINA: Special Weekly FoRB Newsletter Digest (01-07.12.2020)

 06.12.20 – How Sun Tzu and the “36 stratagems” inspire China’s deceptive diplomacy

Old Chinese classics on how to deceive and manipulate enemies are studied and put into practice by the CCP “Wolf Warrior” diplomats and politicians.

Continue reading…

04.12.20 – Protestant churches continue to be destroyed across China

Both Three-Self and house church venues have been demolished under various pretexts in Shaanxi, Anhui, and other provinces. Exclusive videos and pictures from Bitter Winter.

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04.12.20 – Tax justice, religious freedom, and the Tai Ji men case

A movie and a side event at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom or Belief focused on how taxes can be used to deny religious freedom or belief.

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03.12.20 – 76 Church of Almighty God members sentenced to prison

The believers were sentenced to years in prison merely for practicing their faith. One of them was just 19.

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03.12.20 – From Charlie Hebdo to “The Boys”: “Freedom of expression” vs. religious liberty

Where exactly lies the limit between free speech and hate speech that offends members of a religion? Many discuss Charlie Hebdo—but it is not the only case. The Boys is another pop culture example.

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01.12.20 – More crosses toppled from christian venues

For over two years now, CCP implements a comprehensive nationwide campaign to remove religious symbols from places of worship, documented here with exclusive pictures.

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01.12.20 – New unified arrest operations target The Church of Almighty God

Over 300 believers were arrested in October and November, as local authorities launched new crackdown campaigns against this Chinese Christian new religious movement.

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CHINA: Special Weekly FoRB Newsletter (03-09.11.2020)

09.11.20 – Taoist temples demolished or repurposed across China

Cases of crackdowns against Taoism, one of the Chinese Three Teachings, from Zhejiang, Liaoning, and Jilin provinces.

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06.11.20 – Believers arrested and fined for Bible verse hand fans

Even little keepsakes with religious content are becoming off-limits to people of faith in China, as authorities punish those who make and distribute them.

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06.11.20 – Closed churches ordered to be sold, rented, or destroyed

Local governments repurpose places of worship and turn them into propaganda centers, entertainment venues, or factories. Some are even leveled to the ground.

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04.11.20 – How the CCP manipulated the “war on terror” for its own “war on the Uyghurs”

A new book by anthropologist Sean Roberts sheds light upon how the West naively accepted for decades the idea that atrocities in Xinjiang were justified by a “terrorist threat.”

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04.11.20 – Buddhist statues purged across Sichuan province

Temples throughout this southwestern province are increasingly pressured by local authorities to conceal or even destroy their large outdoor icons.

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03.11.20 – Catholic nuns deemed ‘dangerous’ and forced out of convent

The CCP ramps up intimidation and persecution of Catholics who refuse to join the Patriotic Church.

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03.11.20 – Minors intimidated to stay away from religion

The CCP imposes extreme measures to ensure that the young are not exposed to religion: from interrogating 10-year-olds to separating minors from religious families.

Continue reading…


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