Today, January 31, 2020, The Church of Almighty God (CAG) released its 2019 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of the CAG. In the past year, the CCP continued its brutal and inhumane persecution of the CAG, resulting in the arrest of at least 6,132 church members, the sentencing of 1355, and the death of at least 19.
This report has been compiled based on over 30,000 cases of CCP persecution of CAG Christians that have been collected as well as official CCP documents regarding the persecution of religious beliefs. It provides a valuable resource made up of firm data and evidence for all individuals and organizations concerned with religious persecution and human rights in China.
The Church of Almighty God is a new Christian church in China. Since its establishment in 1991, it has suffered frantic suppression at the hands of the CCP. Throughout 2019, the CCP maintained its comprehensive ban on all religious beliefs, and its persecution of The Church of Almighty God continued to escalate. According to incomplete statistics, in 2019, at least 32,815 CAG Christians were directly persecuted by the authorities simply because of their belief in Almighty God and their engagement in such normal church activities as attending gatherings and preaching the gospel. Among them, 6,132 members were arrested; 3,824 members suffered various forms of torture and forced indoctrination; at least 19 members died as a result of persecution. Due to the fact that all of the CCP’s operations to arrest and persecute Christians were carried out in secret, coupled with its tight controls over information, these data represent merely a portion of the persecution that actually occurred.
Seven primary features of the CCP’s persecution of The Church of Almighty God are identified in the report, including the CCP’s extremely widespread utilization of cutting-edge surveillance tactics to capture Christians. Take Shandong, a Sharp Eyes Project model province, in 2019, after utilizing high-definition cameras to surveil, track, and home in on believers, authorities initiated nearly one hundred arrest operations across the entire province that resulted in the arrest of 924 believers, making up 64.3% of the (1,438) arrests of CAG Christians in the province.
In 2019, the number of CAG Christians who have been sentenced to jail increased dramatically: 1,355 CAG Christians have been sentenced as far as is known. This is more than double the number that were sentenced in 2018. Among those sentenced in 2019, 64 were given seven or more years, and three were given heavy sentences of 12 years. CAG Christians who have been sentenced and imprisoned are widely subjected to long-term torture and forced indoctrination, and 12 to 20 hours per day of forced labor. Many were injured or disabled as a result. At least five died from torture in custody and deprivation of the right to medical attention.
In 2019 the CCP continued applying pressure on some democratic countries as well as utilizing Communist sympathizers and anti-religion individuals to stage fake demonstrations abroad in an attempt to have CAG Christians who had fled abroad extradited back to China.
The conditions under which the approximately four million CAG Christians in mainland China struggle to practice their faith and lead a normal existence have continued to worsen. Their situation is a great cause for concern and has attracted international attention.
Analysis of the CCP’s Persecution of Religious Beliefs Under the Pretext of “Cult”
Recently in mainland China,the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government has completely banned online sales of the Bible. E-commerce platforms such as Taobao, JD.com, and Dangdang have already removed listings for the Bible and other Christian literature, and some retailers have even had their E-shops seized up. Just think of the events in recent years— the CCP has dispatched armed police to demolish, to tear down a number of crosses and churches, and some really beautiful and impressive churches have been demolished. This has been heartbreaking and painful for many believers; so many Christians have surrounded these churches in tears, only able to persist in praying to God. Numerous facts show that the CCP government’s persecution of religious beliefs is becoming more and more serious and it has reached the point of insanity. It is widely known that the CCP government has persecuted religious beliefs for a long time; when it came to power in 1949, it defined Christianity and Catholicism as cults, openly suppressing and persecuting these religions. It defined the Bible as cult literature and confiscated and destroyed countless copies. In 1995, the CCP government then added many house churches to its list of cults, and among them the persecution ofhas been particularly severe. It has even taken up the slogan: “Troops Won’t Be Withdrawn Until the Ban Is Done.” It has mobilized armed police and army troops to hunt down defenseless Christians. The CCP government openly oppresses religious beliefs, and many foreigners have expressed confusion. Why would the CCP government define Christianity and Catholicism as cults, and suppress and persecute them? Is this kind of wanton condemnation and oppression of religious groups in line with international law? What is the government’s objective in doing this? In this program we will interview
Dr. Raffaella Di Marzio, director of the Center for Studies on Freedom of Religion, Belief and Conscience (LIREC) in Italy, who is also a professor, social activist, and psychologist.
Let’s have a listen to Dr. Marzio’s ideas and viewpoints.
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