2023 Annual Report on the CCP’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God Released Today

February 7, 2024

Today, February 7, 2024, The Church of Almighty God (CAG) released its 2023 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s (CCP) Persecution of The Church of Almighty God. At least 12,463 CAG Christians were arrested in 2023, with 2,207 sentenced to prison and 20 persecuted to death. The number of CAG members arrested and sentenced in China has reached a record high since the CAG published its first annual report in 2017.

According to the report, in the name of pandemic prevention, the CCP has made great efforts to develop the Skynet Project, facial recognition and other surveillance methods. As a result, the number of CAG Christians put under surveillance and arrest has exceeded 10,000 per year for three consecutive years.

Chart 1: Number of Arrests of CAG members (2019-2023)

The CCP has used various methods, including camera surveillance networks, drone tracking, and electric bicycle tracking devices to target, monitor and track CAG Christians for one or two years or more, gradually expanding the scope of tracking and then launching unified roundups. In Zhejiang Province, a single day on June 15th saw the arrest of at least 1,043 church members in the unified action after the police had been monitoring and tracking them for two years. In Zhejiang Province’s Huzhou City, in January, a CAG Christian was reported, and 96 others were subsequently arrested one after another within 5 months. In 2023, at least 3,374 CAG members were arrested in Anhui Province, at least 1,814 in Jiangsu Province, and at least 1,209 in Shandong Province.

As the report reveals, the number of CAG members sentenced to prison has increased by an average of 26% for four consecutive years, with a feature of increasing numbers and severe sentences. In 2023, 1,094 church members were sentenced to three years or more, and 124 were sentenced to seven years or more. The longest sentence is twelve years and six months. Among all the provinces in China, Guangdong had the highest proportion of harsh sentences, with 70% of those sentenced receiving three years or more.

Among those sentenced, the youngest was only 16, and the oldest was 84. A 77-year-old believer was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for simply receiving others for gatherings. Some grassroot church leaders were sentenced to 10 years in prison. Many more lay believers have been severely sentenced simply for possessing a certain number of electronic books and other religious materials.

Chart 2: Number of the Sentenced and Proportion of Those Imprisoned for 3 or More Years (2020-2023)

The report specially mentions the situation of the CAG in Xinjiang. Like what Uyghurs are experiencing, CAG Christians in Xinjiang have been subjected to extremely brutal persecution in recent years. Almost all CAG Christians in certain areas of Xinjiang have been arrested. Most CAG Christians have lost contact with their families, and we currently can only learn about the situation of individual cases. Among the 80 CAG Christians known to be sentenced during the past years and remain in custody in 2023, 73 were sentenced to five years or more.

The Church of Almighty God came into being because of the appearance and work of Almighty God, Christ of the last days. The teaching of the CAG is The Word Appears in the Flesh, a collection of the Word expressed by Almighty God. Among all the family churches in China, the CAG has been subjected to the CCP’s most brutal persecution since its establishment in 1991. From 2011 to 2023, nearly 460,000 CAG Christians have been arrested, of whom at least 258 were persecuted to death. Despite frequent disasters, COVID-19 epidemic, and people’s suffering across the country, the CCP has been intensifying its efforts to persecute religious beliefs, vowing to completely eradicate the CAG. Its crazy behavior draws concerns of the international community and human rights organizations.

It is impossible to obtain more statistics of persecution due to the CCP’s increasing crackdowns against CAG Christians. This report is compiled merely based on over 20,000 collected cases faithfully reconstructing the CCP’s persecution of CAG Christians, as well as official documents released by the CCP authorities. It provides a prominent resource made up of firm evidence and data revealing the CCP’s religious persecution.

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