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(Midland, Texas—March 23, 2017) A Christian human rights defender began a three-part series of blog posts regarding the memoir of a tortured human rights lawyer yesterday. 

Jinghong Cai, a Chinese Christian, dedicates her posts, which can be found on freechinablog.com, to exposing religious freedom and human rights violations in her homeland. Recently, she read the memoir of Gao Zhisheng, a Christian human rights defense attorney whose efforts to defend groups unfairly targeted by the government prompted officials to repeatedly imprison and torture him.

The first installment of Cai's three-part review, which was published on March 22, has been reproduced below with her permission.

Additionally, First Things published an essay adapted from portions of Gao's book.

China Aid encourages the efforts of individuals such as Jinghong Cai to expose China's abuses in order that more people may stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.




By Jinghong Cai

(I would like to express my special thanks to the American Bar Association and Carolina Academic Press for kindly providing me with a review copy of Mr. Gao’s memoir. This blog is the first part of my book review of “Unwavering Convictions: Gao Zhisheng’s Ten-Year Torture and Faith in China’s Future.” Due to space limitations, I will complete the book review in a three-part series of blogs.)

Mr. Gao Zhisheng, the “No. 1 Political Prisoner” in the Chinese Communist Regime, survived 10years (2004 - 2014) torture in prison and various inhumane treatments. According to his memoir, he could maintain his victorious, defiant spirit against the dark regime, only thanks to his Christian faith and God’s amazing grace. As a lawyer and human rights defender in China, Mr. Gao is seen as an icon who has been vehemently fighting for human rights, including freedom of religion, against the evil Communist Party; For years, he defended Falun Gong practitioners as well as house church Christians.

Mr. Gao has been barred from contacting anybody outside China. He wrote his memoir in secret when he was under house arrest in an isolated village in the Shannxi province in northwestern China. Since the Chinese government has been relentlessly suppressing any disclosure of evidence about their criminal acts of torturing and persecuting political dissidents, Mr. Gao’s Chinese manuscript had to be smuggled out of China and published in Taiwan in June 2016. Later, this smuggled memoir was translated into English and published by the American Bar Association and other organizations in the United States, at the end of January, 2017.

In the memoir, “Unwavering Convictions: Gao Zhisheng’s Ten-Year Torture and Faith in China’s Future,” Mr. Gao described his 10-year experiences of being abducted, abused, tortured, and imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party. One monumental contribution of Mr. Gao’s to the cause of human rights is that he investigated the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in 2005, and in 2006 he gave the evidence to the UN’s torture rapporteur, Dr. Manfred Nowak. Based on Mr. Gao’s evidence and other sources, Dr. Nowak estimated that about two-thirds of the seven to eight million prisoners in re-education and labor camps were practitioners of Falun Gong. In 1999, this religious group reached its peak and had some 70 to 100 million practitioners. Later, the world learned that thousands of them were brutally murdered as part of a lucrative organ transplant trade.

Mr. Gao’s memoir is about 170 pages long and consists of two sections. In the first section, Mr. Gao chronologically recorded each time how he was abducted, detained and tortured, while in the second section, he disclosed his dreadful experiences in prison. Reading the whole book is like walking through the “valley of the shadow of death,” filled with evil – the damp dark cells, the hideous tools used for torturing prisoners, and the wicked mockery of the secret police. Yet, in the midst of that darkness, Mr. Gao feared no evil, and there was always a blinking but unwavering candlelight.

When I read the memoir, three major points caught my eye. First and foremost, we, Chinese, like any other people in the world, love peace, life, freedom and justice. We believe in these unalienable rights just as the American people do; we believe no government, particularly the Chinese Communist Party, should brutally deprive citizens of life and liberty. As a pioneer of the Chinese human rights movement, Mr. Gao writes in his book, “My experience is just one part of the boundless suffering of the Chinese race under one of the cruelest regimes in human history” (p. 1).

The second impressive point is his testimony of God’s amazing grace. In today’s China, at least over 70 million people have reportedly accepted Jesus and become Christians. At the beginning of his memoir, Mr. Gao thanks those people, both inside and outside China, for following his situation and expressing concerns constantly. He believes that God not only has protected him through the concerns of these kind people, but also has sustained him in his time of trouble, and nurtured his faith. Mr. Gao also emphasizes that access to the Bible was not what convinced him to convert to Christianity; He accepted salvation, the gift of God, only after he was surrounded by other Christians. After becoming a Christian, Mr. Gao began having visions from God. His first God-given vision came after he was arrested in August 2006, and he saw God’s reassurance that his detention would not be prolonged.

Lastly, I was moved and inspired by the power of international support, which Mr. Gao referred to as “the unwavering attention of the foreign media.” In his book, Mr. Gao states that he was tortured again and again, but but his life was spared thanks to the international human rights watchdogs. In 2007, prior to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Mr. Gao published his “Open Letter to the US Congress” in the Western countries. He openly asked the international community to help Chinese people to peacefully abandon the tyranny and to establish a free, democratic and civilized new China. Mr. Gao’s petition won him respect from the United States and other Western countries, but at the meantime, he was resented more by the Chinese Communist Party. Because of his fame outside China, the Communist government secretly arrested him and tortured him, trying to break him into giving in and giving up.

Mr. Gao described how he was abducted on April 8, 2010 and experienced torture and imprisonment after he refused to stop contact with the world outside of China. Shortly after he met friends from America, Britain, Germany and Canada, the secret police told him, “If you insist on maintaining contact with the outside world, you will be arrested again in less than three days.” The secret police also ordered Mr. Gao, “If someone knocks on your door, don’t open it.” After Mr. Gao refused to follow the orders of the secret police, he was abducted again within forty-eight hours. (p. 60)

I read Mr. Gao’s memoir with a heavy heart. As a Chinese who grew up during the Cultural Revolution, I know the darkness of the regime is true. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can. Dismay is not a solution; only taking action, like Mr. Gao did is a solution. I encourage you, my fellow Chinese and my American friends, to join me in speaking out and defending those who are suffering under the totalitarian government in China.


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The first page of Ren's proposal.
(Photo: China Aid)
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(Xiangyang, Hunan—March 16, 2017) A procuratorate in China’s southern Hunan province returned an imprisoned Christian’s case files to the public security bureau for further investigation, a lawyer told ChinaAid on Friday.

The procuratorate in Dali, Hunan transferred the case of Tu Yan, who was taken into police custody on Oct. 22 on a falsified charge of “using cult activities to undermine law enforcement,” back to the public security bureau with orders to investigate the case further.

After perusing the procuratorate’s 12 files on Tu, which consist of 2,400 pages accusing her of participating in the “Three Classes of Servants” cult, her lawyer, Ren Quanniu, penned a proposal to the public prosecutor’s office, asking that she not be prosecuted. He claimed that China’s criminal law did not identify the cult Tu was accused of participating in as illegal. As a result, he argued that they were trying to frame Tu and had no reason to imprison her.

Additionally, Tu said she is a Christian and has never participated in the cult.

Tu was seized along with four other Christians. Authorities have released three of these, but the last, Su Min, is still detained.

ChinaAid reports abuses such as those experienced by Tu in order to walk in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

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Human Rights Watch
Sophie Richardson China Director
March 13, 2017 8:00pm EDT

■ After Cao Shunli Died, Beijing’s Crackdown Intensified


Cao Shunli died three years ago today in a Beijing hospital. The veteran human rights activist, best known for pressing the Chinese government to include input from independent civil society into China’s report for its human rights review at the United Nations, died after being held in a detention facility for several months without needed medical treatment.

To this day, little explanation has been given for her detention and death, no one has been held accountable, and there is no sign of an investigation.

Cao Shunli
Courtesy of openDemocracy
Instead, in the three years since Cao’s death at age 53, authorities have only intensified their crackdown on human rights defenders. In many reported cases of detention in recent months, there has been a steady stream of torture allegations.

In January 2017, Li Chunfu, one of more than 300 lawyers and advocates rounded up amid a national crackdown on human rights lawyers in July 2015, showed signs of severe mental trauma upon his release. Detained lawyer Xie Yang, in interviews transcribed by his lawyers in January 2017, gave detailed accounts of the torture he endured: interrogated day and night by security agents who punched and kicked him, blew smoke in his face, and forced him to sit in a fixed position for more than 20 hours. In March, lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who has been in custody since November 2016, appeared on Chinese TV “admitting” that he fabricated the account of Xie’s torture.

Before being detained, Jiang, who himself had previously been tortured, said, “If I say things I don’t mean to when I am in jail, please must forgive me…[being tortured] was so painful.”

But Chinese authorities apparently aren’t at all bothered by the torment the criminal justice system inflicts on the activists caught in its grip. In fact, in the annual work reports released by China’s supreme court and the top prosecutor’s office on March 12, 2017, the prosecutions of human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng and others are extolled as examples of their success in “safeguarding national security.”

If the Chinese government wishes to “comprehensively govern the country according to the law,” as it claims in its new work report, it should start it by opening an investigation into Cao’s death and the alleged torture of the many other human rights defenders by the police since then.


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2017-03-14

■ Detained activist Su Changlan, who has been in pre-trial detention for more than two years, on Tuesday received a prestigious human rights award from a coalition of Chinese human rights groups.

Su, 45, is the third recipient of the Cao Shunli Memorial Award for Human Rights Defenders, in honor of her work "promoting human rights at the grassroots level in China," the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network said on its website.

There are growing concerns for her health after a prolonged period in police detention with no medical treatment, the group said.

Guangdong rights activist Shu Changlan in an undated file
photo. Photo courtesy of HRCChina.org
"Su Changlan’s health has worsened in detention due to a lack of medical treatment, a form of torture commonly used against incarcerated human rights defenders in China," CHRD said.

It said Su is suffering from heart arrhythmia and tremors in her hands and feet because of denied and inadequate care for hyperthyroidism, which can be fatal if not properly treated.

However, she has been hospitalized at least a half dozen times due to eczema caused by poor conditions in detention, most recently in August 2016, CHRD reported.

The authorities have refused multiple requests for Su's release on medical parole.

Born in the southwestern province of Guangxi, Su was an elementary school teacher for more than a decade before being fired in retaliation for her rights activism in the early 2000s, CHRD said.

A self-taught legal advocate, she helped rural women in neighboring Guangdong province to file lawsuits, appeals and official complaints, some of which led to compensation for the loss of their land rights and inheritance after marriage.

No change likely


Her husband Chen Dequan told RFA he didn't believe the award would change the authorities' treatment of his wife.

"I don't think that they'll pay any attention to it," Chen said. "Lots of people around the world have expressed concern about her case, but they still keep dragging their feet. We still don't even have a verdict."

Before her incarceration, Su had become a "highly influential" activist for women's rights in Guangdong, working to expose the trafficking of underage girls as child brides and official corruption around rural elections.

The trigger for her detention on Oct. 27, 2014 appeared to be her publicly expressed support for the pro democracy Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong, however.

Since then, Su has repeatedly been deprived of her legal and due process rights, including secret detention, denied legal counsel, prolonged pre-trial detention, and delayed announcement of a trial verdict, CHRD said.

Su eventually stood trial on April 21 last year at the Foshan Intermediate People's Court in Guangdong on charges of "incitement to subvert state power."

The authorities have yet to issue a verdict or sentence in the case, and Su has been denied visits from her husband and brother, who have themselves been detained for protesting about the situation.

'Arbitrary detention'

Su's detention has been judged as "arbitrary" by the United Nations, which has called on the ruling Chinese Communist Party to release and compensate her. She is still being held in the Nanhai Detention Center in Foshan.

"She has a clear conscience about everything she did," Chen told RFA. "She would have done all that she did with or without such a prize. The most important thing is that she never did any harm to anyone."

"She chose to do this work, and I never stood in her way," he said. "She wrote thousands of articles, which the authorities then used against her in court."

"But freedom of speech is a right that is enshrined in the constitution of the People's Republic of China, so they have now deprived her of her constitutional rights," Chen said.

Su's lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan said he isn't optimistic about his client's fate.

"I don't think there is cause for optimism, because she has been locked up for such a long time, so somebody somewhere is blocking the progress of her case," Liu said. "This is probably somebody in a specific government department, and it's ... definitely someone very powerful."

"The reason that there is no verdict is that the evidence, in my view, simply doesn't stack up," he said.

Su's award is named for late human rights activist Cao Shunli, who died in police detention on March 14, 2014 after being denied adequate medical care.

It was awarded by three Chinese rights groups: Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch, Human Rights Campaign in China and Weiquanwang.

Cao was detained on Sept. 14, 2013, as she was boarding a flight to Geneva, where she was to attend a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, where she hoped to participate in drafting China’s human rights action plans and reports for its U.N. human rights reviews.

Rights groups say her detention was a form of official retaliation for those efforts.

Reported by Wong Lok-to for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.




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The Christian Post
By Stoyan Zaimov
Mar 8, 2017 | 10:48 am

■ Reports of warming relations between China's atheistic Communist Party and the Vatican have beet met with high caution by some watchdog groups, which are warning that the persecution of Christians could get worse.

"A partnership between the Vatican and the Chinese government would worsen the lives of house church Christians. The Communist Party already targets clergy who are not ordained by the state as illegitimate, which leads to persecution, and having the Vatican's backing gives them a further excuse to do so," ChinaAid President Bob Fu told The Christian Post in an interview earlier this week.

"They may also feel emboldened in their persecution of Christians who practice their faith outside of government churches, since such a union would be the Vatican's stamp of approval on the Party's approach to Christianity."

An article in CNN last week highlighted that the Vatican and Communist Party could be nearing a "potentially historic deal" on ordaining Chinese bishops, which would push toward "ending decades of frosty ties."
A villager walks through a Catholic church's building to pray
on the top of a hill, near a Catholic church on the outskirts of
Taiyuan, North China's Shanxi province, December 24, 2016.
(Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee)

For decades, the Communist Party has refused the authority of the pope, with local Chinese Catholic bodies appointing their own bishops — a move that the Vatican opposes.

Additionally, the Chinese government has introduced restrictive pieces of legislation, such as the Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, which looks to coerce house churches to join the state-run Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Churches that refuse to register are banned.

Underground church leaders who for years have faced a crackdown on their faith do not believe the new partnership will diminish religious persecution in China at all.

"Jesus said one person cannot serve two gods, now the Vatican is willing to serve God and the Communist Party," underground church pastor Paul Dong said, according to CNN.

Pope Francis has apparently expressed an interest in visiting China. The Vatican, meanwhile, said that the deal between the Catholic Church and the Chinese government regarding the ordination of bishops is a "work in progress."

Fu told CP that the pontiff would be making a mistake, as China is simply seeking to bolster its public image.

"China might be seeking to make a united front with the pope and the Vatican in order to appear as if it is respecting Christianity to the international society, when, in reality, the religion is still oppressed," he argued.

"Therefore, one of the benefits China could glean from pursuing a relationship with the Vatican is that of an improved — and false — public image, both domestically and internationally."

Fu noted that "currently, only a few bishops practicing in China have been approved by both the Vatican and CCP, as vast majority of clergymen do not see the Party's ordination criteria as being in line with the church's own due to the government's policing."

Retired Cardinal Joseph Zen, former Bishop of Hong Kong, agreed and told CNN that the Vatican risks "selling out" underground Catholics if it strikes a deal.

"We are afraid it's going to be a bad deal," Zen said. "There's no reason to hope the Communists will change. They already have very tight control of the above ground church, their hope is to have the underground church under their control as well."

Some ordained Chinese priests, such as Father Simon Zhu, told CNN that they are praying for "normalization" between China and the Vatican.

Fu insisted, however, that Pope Francis should not be reaching out to China while it continues refusing to improve the lives of persecuted Christians.

"They (the Vatican) should also realize that the Chinese government is not a friend of independent faith and religion, no matter how much officials pretend otherwise. Even those who worship in state-run churches are constantly monitored, and last year's most prominent persecution case was of a high-ranking official pastor who also served in the government's China Christian Council," Fu said.

Gu Yuese, former pastor of Chongyi Church, one of the largest officially sanctioned churches in the country, was arrested last year not long after speaking out against the government's forced destruction of church rooftop crosses, though officials charged him with embezzling funds.

"If the Vatican and the pope agree to a partnership without first forcing the Party to address its own abuses, it will be as if they condone this treatment of Christians," Fu warned.

He urged Pope Francis instead to "listen to the cries of persecuted Christians and urge the Chinese government to put an end to its abusiveness."

"Pope Francis has carefully modeled his care for the marginalized in order to encourage his followers to do the same. In China, Christians are the marginalized, and a relationship with that country without significant changes would only undermine his example."


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Shi Xinhong
(Photo: China Aid)
ChinaAid

(Beijing—March 13, 2017) As China commenced a meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on March 5, Beijing police detained two Christians who had travelled to pray for the proceedings.

Officers patrolling the Great Hall of the People in Beijing detained Zhou Jinxia from Dalian, Liaoning, and Shi Xinhong from Bengbu, Anhui, after they attempted to enter the Hall with evangelism pamphlets. Shortly after 10 a.m. on March 5, an hour after the conference began, Zhou and Shi arrived to pray for the event.

Zhou spoke with the reporter later and explained the situation: “Today is the opening of a conference between the NPC and the CPPCC, and we wished to pray for our compatriots, the attendees of the conference, and the country itself with the hope that our nation will be blessed with peace and freedom. Sister Shi Xinhong was stopped on the way to the Great Hall. I left her and continued on. I called her later in the day and realized that she had been seized by the police, who questioned Sister Shi about my whereabouts from the other side of the phone. With Sister Shi in their hands, [the police] searched for half an hour and failed to locate me. I proceeded, but the Hall was heavily guarded and there was no way for me to get in. I abandoned the prayer I prepared earlier on the street.”

Shi said police cornered her in an alley, demanded to see her ID, and took her to the police station.

Likewise, police seized Zhou as she prayed facing the Great Hall of the People and demanded to see her ID. The women reunited at the police station and officers transferred them to a department that handles petitions. The two were deported home.

ChinaAid reports abuses, such as those experienced by Shi Xinhong and Zhou Jinxia, to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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ChinaAid

(Korla, Xinjiang—March 13, 2017) Authorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang recently deferred the housing registration application of two Christians, one of whom was recently detained for attending a house church.

Si Guangxiu and her son, Cai Chuangye, recently moved from Henan province to Xinjiang. According to Chinese law, all residents must register with the police when they relocate to a new city. As such, Cai filed a registration application, but it was repeatedly deferred. He said, “[The authorities] took away all of my legal materials and told me to wait.” A few days ago, officials agreed to process the application and asked Cai to take pictures of their new residence.

A person in their neighborhood told Si the reason for the delay was that she was a Christian.

On March 4, officials arrested her for attending a house church.

These actions come amid escalating religious tension in Xinjiang. Recently, Xinjiang’s ethnic and religious affairs bureau released the “26 Clauses,” to limit unofficial religious activities using methods to eliminate Christians’ retirement pensions, basic insurance, and ability to take out loans. In some areas, Christians were forced to sign guarantees that they would not attend house churches, and, after encountering some women who were illiterate and could not sign, government personnel threatened to cut off their power and water supply.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by church members in Xinjiang, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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Christian Today
Hazel Torres 
09 March 2017

■ Authorities in China marked the Lunar New Year holiday on Jan. 28 by intensifying their persecution of Christians.

Among those hit hard by the new wave of persecution were Christians living in the autonomous Chinese region of Xinjiang where more than 80 believers were arrested and detained leading up and after the holiday, according to persecution watchdog China Aid.

Chinese government agents take pictures during a raid on
Huoshi Church, also known as Livingstone Church, in
Guizhou province, China. China Aid
They were arrested during raids conducted by government security agents on various house churches affiliated with the Protestant house church network, Fangcheng Fellowship, which has an estimated 10 million members.

The raids were conducted in the cities of Urumqi, Kuytun and in Shawan counties, the belated report said. Those arrested were charged with crimes such as "engaging in religious activities at non-religious sites," said China Aid.

Chinese authorities only allow the operation of the state-run church called the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

Among those arrested were six women who were imprisoned for 15 days and fined the equivalent of $145 on the charge of "gathering and praying under the name of Christianity."

The detainees were officially released on Feb. 9 on the condition that they would join the state-run church, according to China Aid.

"We believe in Jesus wholeheartedly. What just happened was not fair. We did not cause trouble. We did not bother the neighbours. All we did was study the Bible," Chen Xiangyan, one of the women who were detained, was quoted as saying.

Aside from conducting church raids, Chinese authorities are also busy cracking down on foreign Christian missionaries, deporting at least 32 South Korean missionaries in February as part of the government's crackdown on evangelism.

Last week, five Christians, including a pastor, were sentenced to three to seven years in prison on charges that they bought and sold what the Chinese government considers to be "forbidden Christian devotional books."

In its 2016 Annual Persecution Report, China Aid noted that there has been a "seismic shift" in China's approach to religion, which has led to a massive rise in persecution of Christians and other faiths.

Christians are being persecuted "at a frequency unseen since the Cultural Revolution," the human rights charity says.

It says persecution cases went up by more than 20 percent last year compared to 2015, with the number of people detained increasing by nearly 150 percent.

Open Doors USA ranks China as the 39th worst country in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians, according to its 2017 World Watch List.


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From left: Xie Yang's two lawyers,
Chen Jiangang and Liu Zhengqing,
and his wife, Chen Guiqui.
China Aid

(Changsha, Hunan—March 7, 2017) An incarcerated human rights lawyer from China’s central Hunan province declared his innocence and revealed that he is being subjected to severe torture in a letter on Jan. 13, China Aid learned today.

Imprisoned since July 11, 2015, for his defense of human rights, lawyer Xie Yang wrote that officials have been subjecting him to “severe abuse and torture” in order to coerce him to confess. However, because he is not guilty of any crime, he writes that he is refusing and will only comply if the torture becomes too much for him to bear or authorities bait him with bail and a reunion with his loved ones. As such, he says, “If someday I admit any guilt, whether in written form or voice recording, it would definitely not be out of my own will.”

Xie’s lawyer, Chen Jiangang published the “Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang,” revealing that his client was repeatedly dragged away from cameras and beaten, forced to sit on stacked chairs until his legs swelled and it became impossible to walk, denied water, made to inhale cigarette smoke until he choked and suffocated, and subjected to other acts of torment. Additionally, according to an excerpt of the transcript posted by China Change, officials threatened to place him in an oven and told him, “Xie Yang, if we want to kill you, it would be very simple. Killing you is the same as killing an ant!”

Due to the startling nature of the transcript’s content, many international media sources published articles denouncing China’s treatment of Xie. In response, China launched a propaganda campaign claiming that these reports were “fabricated,” denying Xie’s torture.

A full translation of Xie’s declaration follows.

China Aid reports abuses, such as those suffered by Xie Yang, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.



Xie Yang’s declaration on Jan. 13, 2017


I’m Xie Yang, and I hereby declare:

Today I met with my attorney, Chen Jiangang, again. All my statements here are completely true and out of a free heart. I want to declare that I am completely innocent.

I have been suffering from all kinds of severe abuse and torture since I was arrested on July 11, 2015. Nevertheless, I have never pled guilty, because I am not guilty.

If someday I admit any guilt, whether in written form or voice recording, it would definitely not be out of my own will. It would be either caused by continued torture or to get a chance to be bailed out and reunited with my family. Both my family and I are under immense pressure now as the officials ask me to confess and stop talking about my torture.

Once again, I am innocent.

Xie Yang
Jan. 13, 2017


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Premier
By Aaron James
Sat 04 Mar 2017

■ A report by a Christian charity's found believers in China are being persecuted "at a frequency unseen since the Cultural Revolution".

China Aid's Annual Persecution Report for 2016 was referring to the time of political change when Mao Zedong attempted to eliminate Christian, traditional and capitalist elements of Chinese society between 1966-1976, resulting in the deaths of approximately 30 million people.

It's report found incidents of Christian persecution in China rose 20 per cent from 2015 to 2016, while the number of believers imprisoned went up by almost 150 per cent.

In addition, Christians being sentenced for crimes went up by a third and the number abused by authorities or citizens went up almost 70 per cent.

Persecution includes the forced demolition of churches and removal of church crosses, the execution, forced organ harvesting or imprisonment of Christians and lawyers supporting them, and only allowing Christianity within state-monitored churches - a policy forcing millions of believers to worship in houses or underground. Believers have also been fined and had their bibles confiscated.

China is currently ranked 39 in the 50 worst countries in the world for Christian persecution.

Bob Fu, President of China Aid, said: 'The key findings of what happened last year and the reports from these first two months of 2017 have shown the situation of religious freedom is rapidly deteriorating.

"We call upon both the persecuted faithful in China and the international community to be increasingly vigilant and persevere in facing this harsher year.

"China Aid will continue to walk closer with the persecuted and oppressed faithful in China by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused, and equipping the leaders."



About the Author

Aaron James
Aaron works as a multimedia journalist at Premier.


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Christians gather for worship at a
house church. Christians such as these
are often targeted for their faith.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

(Liaoyang, Liaoning—March 7, 2017) Further details have been released regarding the sentencing of five Christians leaders for the purchase and sale of Christian books in China’s northeastern Liaoning province.

On Feb. 22, the defendants, four women and one man, all members of Chaoguang Church, were sentenced for allegedly buying and selling “officially forbidden Christian devotional books.”

Of them, pastor Li Dongzhe, and his wife, Piao Shunnan, received seven years with a fine of 100,000 Yuan ($14,500 USD). The church's accountant, Zhao Chunxia, and a secretary, Li Yuan, were given five years and fined 70,000 Yuan ($10,200 USD). Another member, Shi Jinyan, was sentenced to three years with a fine of 50,000 Yuan ($7,300 USD). Chaoguang Church itself received a fine of 200,000 Yuan ($29,000 USD).

Chaoguang Church, also known as Chaoguang Village Christian Gathering Place, is an officially registered church within China’s government-run Protestant church system, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Despite the church’s registered status, the courts declared that the Christians illegally conducted business because they intended to make a profit while selling Christian literature.

Following the conviction, Chaoguang Church has closed down.

The convictions of registered church members is a change from the norm in such cases, as charges like “illegal business operations” are normally levied against attendees of unregistered house churches in an attempt to limit their freedom

“Christian convicts of crimes like ‘illegal business operations’ and ‘participating in cults’ are [usually] brought against house church members,” Ren Quanniu, a lawyer who often works on such cases, said. “[The government] simply comes up with random legal excuses to detain them. I’ve heard of a similar case, in which the believers were arrested because of illegally publishing religious materials.”

China Aid exposes such abuses in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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Ruth Gledhill
04 March 2017

■ A 'seismic shift' in China's approach to religion has led to a massive rise in persecution of Christians and other faiths, according to one of the main human rights charities.

China Aid, in its 2016 Annual Persecution Report, describes a 'deviation' in the Chinese government's ideological approach to religion.

Christians are being persecuted 'at a frequency unseen since the Cultural Revolution', says China Aid.
Pastor Duan Huilai blesses congregants at his church in
Fujian, China. (Screenshot/CBN News video)

Persecution cases went up by more than 20 per cent last year compared to 2015, number of people detained increased by nearly 150 per cent, arrests went up 11 per cent, those sentenced increased by a third, abuse cases went up more than 40 per cent and the actual number of people abused increased by nearly 70 per cent.

The persecution of Christians were stepped up at China's national conference of religious work in April last year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stated then that Christianity and other religions must 'persistently following the path of Sinicization'.

As a result of this, many departments in central and provincial governments have already begun increased attempts to prevent independent religious thought - such as banning reincarnation for Tibetan Buddhists.

Even before this, however, dozens of churches had crosses forcibly removed or were demolished.

In one horrific case, a Christian woman died after she and her husband were buried alive by a bulldozer as they attempted to protest their church demolition in Henan. Many are being detained. Just one example is the two women still in detention simply for hanging a cross in their home.

According to China Aid, underlying the persecution is an assumption by China's government that 'other countries are using foreign-based religions to undermine their authority.'

'This forces religious practitioners, especially Christians, to choose between comprising their deeply-held beliefs and risking being treated as violators of the law,' says the charity.

Increasingly in recent months, house churches have been targeted in an attempt tp coerce them to join China's official church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, or face closure.

'This data illustrates China's alarming regression into a more Maoist regime, and conditions are expected to worsen this year as the revised regulations on religious affairs go into effect nationwide. These new regulations seek to further limit religious activity and indicate a catastrophic potential to place more Christians behind bars,' said the charity.

Bob Fu of China Aid said: 'The key findings of what happened last year and the reports from these first two months of 2017 have shown the situation of religious freedom is rapidly deteriorating. We call upon both the persecuted faithful in China and the international community to be increasingly vigilant and persevere in facing this harsher year. China Aid will continue to walk closer with the persecuted and oppressed faithful in China by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused, and equipping the leaders.'


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Zhang Xiuhong (left) was sentenced
to five years in prison.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

(Guiyang, Guizhou—March 6, 2017) An imprisoned Christian woman recently penned a poem recounting the year she spent in police custody in China’s southern Guizhou province, even as she faces five years’ incarceration

Zhang Xiuhong, the chairwoman of Huoshi Church’s Board of Deacons and the church accountant, wrote a piece that retells what she could not experience during the year of 2016 due to her imprisonment and expresses the hope and joy she experiences in the midst of her cruel experiences.

On July 28, 2015, she was seized by local authorities for “illegal business operations.” Her defense lawyers, Xiao Yunyang and Li Guisheng, were not allowed to plead guilty on her behalf and argued that the transaction was an invalid piece of evidence, since she did not benefit from it.

Her trial commenced on Jan. 23 at 9:00 a.m., and the Nanming District Court sentenced her to five years in prison on Feb. 10. She appealed her sentence on Feb. 17, arguing that she was deemed responsible for embezzling 5 million Yuan [$725,374.00 USD]. She was accused of collaborating on this crime with Pan Lina, another defendant in her case. Pan, however, received only three years with a four-year probation. Zhang concluded that authorities used her charge to target her on account of her religious beliefs.

Xiao told a China Aid reporter that his client’s sentencing was unfair, since authorities promised that Zhang would be sentenced for only two years. Additionally, the judge who tried Zhang’s case visited her twice beforehand and encouraged her to confess, saying that Wang Yao and Tu Yulei, two others involved with Huoshi Church, both confessed and were released on probation. He also demanded that she fire Li, but she refused.

Zhang’s poem can be read in full below.

China Aid reports abuses such as those suffered by Zhang Xiuhong in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.



Poem by Zhang Xiuhong

This year
I didn’t hear the sweet voice of my baby,
I didn’t embrace the wanderer come back from afar,
I didn’t see my loved one’s thin and weak figure,
I didn’t have heart-to-heart talks with my sister,
I didn’t taste the delicious food prepared by my mother-in-law,
I didn’t bask in the rays of the morning sunlight,
Or take a stroll as the sun sets.
Or ride on a high-speed train to go somewhere.

This year, the sound I often heard,
Was the slam of metal doors, sharp and piercing,
This year, the sight I often saw was hopeless eyes,
This year, the food I had every day was the unchanging “three dishes and a soup,”
This year, the farthest I went was less than 1,000 meters [approximately 3,281 feet] away,
This year, I received a staggering fine,
This year, I saw the judge of my case twice, not at the court, but where I’m being detained.

Was this a tough year for me? Painful? Lonely? Living each day like a year? Absolutely not!
This year, I was never in a dark place while waiting; the sun above the clouds shined upon me and nourished me;
This year, I was never homesick;
This year, I enjoyed the bounty of grace because my trust in the Lord who called me brought me unspeakable glory and joy;
This year, the world drifted farther away from me;
This year, my Lord drew ever closer to me;
This year, I received the fruits of the Lord’s Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control;
This year, I bathed in His love;
This year, my soul broke free from the metal bars of prison and soared in the Kingdom of God;
This year, I lived in hope and divine promises….

Your sister in Christ,

Zhang Xiuhong


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Authorities raid a Chinese house
church. (Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

(Korla, Xinjiang—March 6, 2017) Authorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang are violating the country’s religious freedom laws by assigning officers to monitor groups of Christians who experienced persecution, China Aid learned recently

According to Kong Lingrong, a Christian woman who hosts a house church in her home, government agents are constantly stationed at her door and prevent other Christians from visiting. Additionally, a white vehicle has been stationed outside her apartment complex. Whenever she leaves, government personnel follow her.

As 21 Christians met in her home for a church service on Feb. 19, officials broke in and announced that all religious gatherings with more than three people were illegal. After Kong asked questions, they dragged her to the police station along with several others, and one officer asked for permission to beat the churchgoers.

Kong also reported that she was given a document detailing 26 commonalities of so-called “illegal gatherings,” which included, “Holding organized religious activities outside of designated religious buildings without government permission; clergy and believers worshipping, gathering, or giving sermons outside of designated religious buildings” and “Inviting clergy from other cities without government permission.” However, the document lacked a title and an official seal, leading her to speculate that the government contrived these regulations.

Just after Kong’s home was raided, officials arrived at the nearby apartment of another Christian, Mei Yunhua, who also uses her residence for church services. At the time, the place was empty. Officials cut off her electricity and water supply for five days, only restoring it after the case garnered international media attention.

In an interview, Mei said, “Everyday, they watch [the church members], surveilling our homes, including the homes of our [Christian] sisters. As soon as you leave your house, they follow you … They don’t obviously watch you, but rather observe you from a secret place. One of our [Christian] sisters went to a prayer meeting one night, and, when she came out of it, [an official] car suddenly started following her. She was tailed all the way home.”

Kong defended the legality of private Christian gatherings, saying that the law grants Chinese citizens freedom of religion. Her claim agrees with Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which states:

“Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.”

China Aid reports abuses such as those experienced by Kong and Mei’s churches in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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Officials often raid house churches,
such as this one in Guizhou province.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

(Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang—March 6, 2017) Officials invaded churches and seven Christian homes and confiscated various materials in China’s northwestern Xinjiang on Feb. 24 and 26.

Without legal documents, officers searched churches and the homes of Christians Chen Daihu, Peng Zuorong, Liu Shouqun, Zhao Jinhong, Jia Qiuyue, Fu Qun, and Zhou Jianhua on Feb. 24, destroying religious materials. Fu, who runs a church in one of her two homes, said, “The police officers searched every corner of the church. They took away the offering box, the books, the crosses, basically anything. They removed the crosses and the posters on the walls of every household.”

On Feb. 26, authorities broke into the homes again without presenting warrants. One of the Christians, whose identity was unspecified, said, “There were more than 10 officers in both raids. They climbed the fence [to my house] during the second raid and told me that they wanted to ‘have a look’ in my house. The officers searched my house thoroughly and even confiscated my checkbook on the table. I demanded my books … back, but they refused. I complained to them that there were two raids in a matter of three days.“

The church member also said he was accused of cult activity, despite never being involved in a cult.

The local Christians said they did not know where they could go to file a complaint.

China Aid exposes abuses such as those experienced by church members in Xinjiang in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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China Change
Chen Jiangang, March 4, 2017

■ 1. I cherish life. I want to live to see the universal values of democracy, liberty, rule of law, and human rights realized in China. I want to see a constitutional system of government established in China. If these things don’t happen I’ll die without peace. I cherish my family. I want to see my children grow and live in freedom and health. For all these reasons, I will not kill myself. If something unexpected happens to me, please know that it will absolutely not be because I committed suicide.
Left to right: Chen Jiangang, Liu Zhengqing, and Chen
Guiqiu (Xie Yang's wife) outside Changsha 2nd Detention
Center in December, 2016

2. I have committed no crime. I will never, of my own volition, assent to any illegal interrogation, and nor will I level false charges against or attempt to frame anyone. Any written, oral, or video confession, self-degradation, or accusation against other people will only have been made under the circumstances that I have been deprived of liberty, am under duress, or am being tortured and threatened. Those are the only circumstances under which I could be forced to say such things, and none of them will be true.

3. I’m simply a man of flesh and blood. If I’m put to the agonies of torture, I cannot guarantee that I will not submit. Through my years of work as a defense lawyer, I have learned of many cases of torture in China and the unspeakable cruelty involved. If I am tortured and made to submit, everything I say will be made up. None of it can be taken as evidence toward the accusation, conviction, or defamation of any person.

4. If I lose my freedom and end up on television revealing the name of any of my friends, please forgive me. Those won’t be my own words or my will. By that stage I will have been turned into nothing but a prop. Please forgive me.

5. I take complete responsibility for every character in the two transcripts I made of the meetings with Xie Yang (谢阳), as well as for any other transcripts that have not yet been made public. As for the groundless lies made by the shameless state media that the transcripts describing torture were fabricated, I have already thoroughly rebutted them in my essay “How Xie Yang’s Transcripts of Torture Came to Light.”

6. My children, your father loves you.*

Chen Jiangang (陈建刚)

2017-03-03

*Chen Jiangang has two children, six and two years old. – Translator’s note


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Signs posted on the wall of
a church in Wusu.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

(Wusu, Xinjiang—March 3, 2017) Persecution broke out in China’s northwestern Xinjiang in the days surrounding the Lunar New Year as authorities arrested more than 80 Christians for attending house church meetings and detained six others, China Aid recently learned.

Public security bureaus invaded a network of house churches known as Fangcheng Fellowship in Urumqi, Shawan County, and Kuytun, accused at least 80 Christians of “engaging in religious activities at non-religious sites” in the days leading up to and after the Lunar New Year. They were arrested for refusing to join the state-run Three-Self Church.

Similarly, on Jan. 20, police officers in Wusu, Xinjiang, disturbed a group of Christians at prayer in their church, after they were previously urged to join the Three-Self Church. The officers labeled their gathering illegal and took 10 of them away. Of those imprisoned, the authorities released the elderly, the sick, and those who had previously been arrested. Six women, including Chen Xiangyan and Zhu Xiaohua, were detained for 15 days, beginning on Jan. 25, and fined 1,000 Yuan ($145 USD) for “gathering and praying under the name of Christianity.”

When recounting the event to a China Aid reporter, Chen said, “We believe in Jesus wholeheartedly. What just happened was not fair. We did not cause trouble. We did not bother the neighbors. All we did was study the Bible. [The police] said that we might be controlled by bad people, but I promised him that we knew what we were doing, because we believed in Jesus, not someone bad. They would not listen to me and directly transferred us to the detention center. They fined each of us 1,000 Yuan. We didn’t receive a receipt until now. ”

Additionally, Chen said she was charged with setting up private religious gatherings.

The detainees were released on Feb. 9.

According to Zhu, authorities previously persecuted the church’s members and urged them to join the Three-Self Church, insisting that they broke the law by meeting privately. Church members were seized and ordered to stop gathering.

China Aid reports abuses, such as those experienced by church members in Xinjiang, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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Officials beat Christian woman for
defending her church.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

(Midland, Texas—March 2, 2017) China Aid released its 2016 Annual Persecution Report yesterday, detailing a seismic shift in the Chinese government’s approach to religious policy which is expected to lead to further persecution.

The report’s core subject tracks a deviation in the Chinese government’s ideological approach to religious management. During the National Conference of Religious Work, held in April 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of religions “persistently following the path of Sinicization,” and subordinate government departments adopted the policy as a catalyst for many persecution attempts. Previously, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) focused its efforts on encouraging religions and socialism to mutually adapt, which was introduced by former President Jiang Zemin.

Despite China’s insistence that Sinicization is an integral ingredient in the harmonization between church and state, the policy pivots on the government’s assumption that other countries are using foreign-based religions to undermine their authority. Therefore, actions carried out under this mantra target the activities of religious institutions and subject them to government oversight, effectively trimming pre-existing religious practices to fit the agenda of the CCP. This forces religious practitioners, especially Christians, to choose between comprising their deeply-held beliefs and risking being treated as violators of the law.

In an attempt to implement this Sinicization, local government departments across the country drafted and carried out work plans that took aim at house churches. Often, these departments ruled to identify unregistered house churches and coerce them to join the government-monitored Three-Self Patriotic Movement by threatening them with forced closure.

In addition to these attempts to tailor Christianity, China continued to persecute individual Christians at a frequency unseen since the Cultural Revolution. Comparing statistics gathered in 2015, China Aid discovered consistent increases across six different categories of persecution in 2016. These include: number of persecution cases (up 20.2 percent), number of people detained (up 147.6 percent), the number of people arrested (up 11 percent), the number of people sentenced (up 30 percent), the number of abuse cases (up 42.6 percent), and the number of people abused (up 69.5 percent).

This data illustrates China’s alarming regression into a more Maoist regime, and conditions are expected to worsen this year as the Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs goes into effect nationwide. These new regulations seek to further limit religious activity and indicate a catastrophic potential to place more Christians behind bars.

“The key findings of what happened last year and the reports from these first two months of 2017 have shown the situation of religious freedom is rapidly deteriorating,” said Bob Fu, founder and president of China Aid. “We call upon both the persecuted faithful in China and the international community to be increasingly vigilant and persevere in facing this harsher year. China Aid will continue to walk closer with the persecuted and oppressed faithful in China by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused, and equipping the leaders.”

The full English version of the 2016 Annual Persecution Report can be read here. While China Aid hopes that someday religious freedom will be available to all, the majority of the reports we receive spotlight the persecution of Christians. As such, the report focuses on the CCP’s persecution of Christians and should be read as a sampling of a much more widespread endemic of oppression, rather than a comprehensive analysis.

China Aid writes the Annual Persecution Reports in order to expose China’s horrific treatment of people who believe differently from the state, stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians, and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law for all.


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Officials often raid house churches
such as this one. (Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

(Korla, Xinjiang—March 1, 2017) Police tore into two house churches in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province on Sunday, destroying church material and speculating about beating those gathered there.

A church service of 21 people convened at the home of Kong Lingrong for a church service on Feb. 19, when officials broke into the meeting, dispersed those in attendance, and dragged Kong to the police station for asking questions, along with several of the others present. As they searched through the home, one of the officers asked for permission to beat the Christians.

Additionally, they warned the Christians never to hold a service again, and told Kong that any group larger than three people could be considered an illegal gathering.

For the past six years, authorities have targeted Kong, even expelling her son from his middle school because he refused to give up his faith. Through the work of human rights lawyers and the pressure of international society, he was allowed to return to school.

On the same day as the raid, officials broke into the home of Mei Yunhua, a Christian woman who lives near Kong. The house was empty, but the Christians who gather there were told never to meet again. Additionally, they ripped Christian materials off her door and cut off the water and electric supply.

China Aid reports abuses, such as those suffered by Kong and Mei, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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Xu Lei, pictured outside the Guangfu Bureau of Letters and
Calls, where she attempted to petition regarding her husband,
Li Hongmin’s arrest.
China Aid

Updated on March 6, 2017 at 6:06 p.m., with a newly released photo.

(Guangzhou, Guangdong—March 1, 2017) In a desperate letter, the wife of a Christian imprisoned in China’s southern Guangdong province wrote that officials forced her husband to falsify the monetary value of Christian books he sold in order to increase his jail sentence.

Xu Lei, the wife of imprisoned Guangfu Church member Li Hongmin, penned a letter recounting how she heard authorities coerce her husband to change the monetary value of Christian books he circulated from 40,000 Yuan ($5,820.00 USD) to 50,000 Yuan ($7,275.00 USD). This alteration, which occurred in court, means that Li, who was taken into police custody on June 2, 2016, on the charge of “illegal business operations,” could serve three years in prison.

Since the time of her husband’s arrest, Xu has only been able to see him twice from behind and has not been allowed to speak to him. If she wants information about him, she must hire a lawyer to visit him.

Despite the allegations against him, Xu says that they did not intend to profit from printing the materials.

Dissatisfied with his treatment, she went to the State Bureau of Letters and Calls in Guangzhou to petition for him, but her request was rejected. On March 1, she traveled to Beijing with her mother-in-law and an unnamed person to seek the audience of higher authorities, but, after being summoned by government personnel in Beijing, officials from her hometown followed her there and persuaded her to abandon the case and return to Guangzhou. They also promised they would keep investigating.

Two days later, Li Huajie, an officer from the Baiyun District Public Security Bureau, visited Xu at her home and brought officers to register her. She refused to let them in, and they urged her landlord to evict her.

Xu also refused to sign a "Responsibility of public security and fire control notice for rented houses," and the police went immediately to her landlord and pressured him to sign it for her. Her lawyer claimed such notices were the jurisdiction of the fire department, not the public security bureau. Other families were exempted from this treatment.

Additionally, Li's parents were evicted from their home.

Two court sessions have already been held for Li’s case, but no verdict has been reached. According to Marco, a pastor at Guangfu Church, the hearings were brief, and the government asked more questions about the church than they did about the selling of the books.

Meanwhile, Xu’s finances have reached a state of emergency. She only has enough money to feed her son for another month and could not pay his tuition fee, and she recently moved to a home that only costs 300 Yuan ($44.00 USD) per month.

China Aid reports abuses such as those suffered by Li and Xu in order to stand with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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China Aid

(Liaoyang, Liaoning—Feb. 26, 2017) A court in China’s northeastern Liaoning province sentenced five Christian leaders to three to seven years behind bars on Wednesday for purchasing and selling prohibited Christian material.

On Feb. 22, the defendants, comprised of four women and one man, learned they would be imprisoned for allegedly buying and selling “officially forbidden Christian devotional books.” Of them, pastor Li Dongzhe and Piao Shunnan received seven years, Zhao Chunxia and Li Yuan were given five years, and Shi Jinyan was sentenced to three years. Most of them belong to a Korean ethnic minority group that resides within China, and all of them attend registered churches. They were arrested last June.

China Aid exposes such abuses in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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The Epoch Times
By Jack Phillips, Epoch Times |
February 23, 2017 AT 10:47 am
Last Updated: February 24, 2017 3:49 pm

■ Human rights organization Amnesty International has issued an “urgent action update” for a Falun Gong practitioner who is facing life imprisonment.

Chen Huixia, who is around 60 years old, was arrested under dubious conditions and is now facing three years to life in prison. A previous report from The Epoch Times says she was arrested for practicing Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.

Chen Huixia (Amnesty International)
Falun Gong is a traditional meditation discipline that was practiced freely by tens of millions in China before former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin ordered the discipline suppressed in 1999. Jiang’s brutal persecution campaign against the practice involves forced labor, brainwashing, torture, and even death.

The Chinese regime is also harvesting and selling practitioners’ organs for a profit, according to researchers. A 680-page report from a Canadian human rights lawyer, a former Canadian parliamentarian, and an American investigative journalist released last summer suggested that as many as 60,000 to 100,000 practitioners may have been killed for their organs each year since 2000.

According to Amnesty’s urgent action, posted on Feb. 21, Chen’s family has been unable to visit her at the detention center she is being held at since June of last year.

Amnesty said her lawyer has requested a case file and claimed “that it had yet to verify Chen Huixia’s relationship with her daughter, who had hired the lawyer from abroad.”

A Falun Gong practitioner protests by posing in a cage
(Minghui)
Her lawyer also said that her condition is now stable—she was reportedly suffering health problems—and she’s no longer being subjected to torture or brainwashing to get her to renounce her belief.

But her family has “no further details, as the lawyer assumed their communications were being monitored and therefore only passed on limited information.”

Chen was first taken away by police in June 2016. In custody, she was subjected to extreme forms of torture, as is the norm for Falun Gong practitioners in detention centers and labor camps across China. She was strapped to an iron chair for a month at an unofficial detention center. Later, she was taken to the Shijiazhuang Municipal No. 2 Detention Centre in Hebei Province in July of last year.

Chen had no lawyer until November 2016, as many lawyers her family approached refused to take up the case because they believed the authorities would not allow it.


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