2018 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God
- 1. Overview
- 1.1 The Current State of Religion in China Under the “Sinicization of Religion” Policy
- 1.2 Overview of the CCP’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God (CAG)
- 2. Summary of the Nature of the CCP’s Persecution
- 2.1 The CCP Conducts Thorough and Ongoing Investigations of the CAG in Preparation for Further Large-scale Arrests
- 2.2 The CCP Launches Special Crackdown Campaigns in All Provinces and Cities Throughout the Country and Carries Out Large-scale Arrests
- 2.3 The CCP Carries Out Large-scale Transformation Through Indoctrination on Arrested Christians, Forcing Them to Renounce Their Belief
- 2.4 Persecution Reached Such a Height in 2018 That at Least 20 Christians Died as a Result
- 2.5 The CCP Gathers Information About the Situation of CAG Christians Overseas, and It Launches False Demonstrations in an Attempt to Disintegrate CAG Communities Abroad
- 3. Heavy Persecution of the CAG Draws International Community’s Concerns; Asylum Granted to Exiled CAG Christians Overseas
- 4. Conclusion
- Attachment: 19 Selected Typical Cases in 2018
- 1) The CCP Subjects CAG Christians to Extrajudicial Killings
- 2) The CCP Arbitrarily Detains and Imprisons CAG Christians
- 3) The CCP Cruelly Tortures CAG Christians
- 4) The CCP Seizes Vast Amounts of Church Money as Well as Christians’ Personal Assets
- 5) The CCP Prevents CAG Christians From Practicing Their Right to Political Asylum
Cover Image Reconstructing the Persecution CAG Christians Suffered
2018 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God
1.1 The Current State of Religion in China Under the “Sinicization of Religion” Policy
On February 1, 2018, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to implement its new Regulations on Religious Affairs, thereby throwing a cloak of legitimacy over Xi Jinping’s “Sinicization of religion” policy and further exposing the evil purpose behind the CCP’s attempts to completely ban religious beliefs and eradicate all religions in China. After these regulations were implemented, the situation of religious belief in China has wholly deteriorated: More than a million Muslims in Xinjiang have been imprisoned in re-education camps; millions of public servants have moved into the homes of Muslims in Xinjiang to carry out ideological monitoring and behavioral review using extremely intrusive means; religious doctrines have been misinterpreted and manipulated by the authorities, the Ten Commandments in the Bible have been deleted and replaced with nine commandments, all Bibles have been removed from online sale and the CCP reportedly proposed to launch a revised compilation of the Bible and tamper with the contents of the Bible; the CCP strictly manipulates and controls leaders of religious groups, and it controls the appointment of underground Catholic bishops by its signing of the Vatican-China deal; a large number of churches, mosques, Buddhist temples, Taoist temples and other religious sites have been destroyed or banned; large numbers of Christians have been arrested and imprisoned; when religious believers engage in religious activities, they are forced to sing the “Red Songs,” raise the national flag and study the so-called CCP policies. Among them, a new Christian church—The Church of Almighty God (CAG)—suffers the harshest persecution. According to incomplete statistics, in just 2018, at least 11,111 Church members were arrested merely for engaging in church activities, and it is well-documented that the number of believers who died as a result of persecution that year reached as high as 20. On November 6 of 2018, during the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of China, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a summary of submissions on China by NGOs, condemning the CCP’s persecution of 4 million CAG Christians in Mainland China. The summary pointed out that, during 2014-2018, the Chinese Communist Party’s monitoring, arrest, and persecution had caused at least 500,000 CAG Christians to flee their home, and several hundred thousand families had been torn apart . Regarding the current state of religion in China, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) issued its 2018 Annual Report. CECC Co-Chairperson Chris Smith, a U.S. Congressman, pointed out that over the past year, the Chinese government has intensified its most severe crackdown on all religious faith since the Cultural Revolution.
1.2 Overview of the CCP’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God
The Church of Almighty God (CAG) is a new Christian church in China. Since its establishment in 1991, it has suffered frantic suppression and severe persecution at the hands of the CCP. In 1995, the CCP used unwarranted charges to add The Church of Almighty God, the Shouters, the All Ranges Church and many other Christian house churches on its xie jiao list, and furthermore began to cruelly suppress and persecute them. In the wake of this move, the oppression and persecution enacted by the CCP against the CAG continues to escalate. According to incomplete statistics, just between 2011 and the end of 2017, at least 400,000 CAG Christians were arrested by the Chinese authorities, and it is well-documented that the number of believers who have died as a result of persecution since the Church’s establishment has reached 101. The reason why the CAG suffers such cruel persecution at the hands of the CCP is that, ever since Almighty God appeared to perform His work, He has expressed many millions of words to uncover all the mysteries held within the Bible and deliver all truths necessary for the purification and salvation of mankind, thus enabling people to have a true understanding of the work and disposition of God, to be cleansed of their corruption, and to attain His salvation. The number of people who have studied and accepted the work of Almighty God therefore continues to grow and the Church is rapidly developing, which has aroused the panic and hatred of the CCP.
In early 2018, the Chinese authorities launched various campaigns to crack down on the CAG throughout all provinces and cities in China. According to a report from the People’s Daily Online, on February 8 of 2018, the Hainan Provincial Public Security Department (PSD) convened a video conference of all provincial public security units and launched six crackdown campaigns throughout 2018. Included among them was the “campaign to crack down on and dispose of The Church of Almighty God.” On June 1 of 2018, a document issued by the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau of Jiangxi Province concerning the punitive campaign of the One-Hundred-Day Battle launched against the CAG, demanded the thorough investigation and total destruction of the CAG. Zhaoyuan City in Shandong Province also launched its own One-Hundred-Day Battle which demanded a severe crackdown on the CAG and planned the arrests of 80% of CAG leaders by the end of November 2018. Moreover, various provinces such as Jiangsu, Henan, Liaoning, Zhejiang and Shanxi all issued red-headed official documents implementing such campaigns as crackdowns and bans against the CAG, demanding that “The Church of Almighty God should be taken as the main target, with consideration given to other organizations,” emphasizing the arrests of leaders and seizure of church money, and ensuring the achievement of the goal to “destroy its domestic foundation and cripple its influence abroad.”
Subsequently, a new round of uniformed campaign of suppression and persecution against the CAG swept across Mainland China, and CAG Christians across the nation became constantly subjected to large-scale arrests, having their homes searched and property confiscated, and subjected to cruel tortures and transformation through forced indoctrination. According to incomplete statistics, in 2018, at least 23,567 CAG Christians were directly persecuted by the authorities simply because they believed in Almighty God, and because they engaged in such normal church activities as attending gatherings and preaching the gospel. In 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in Mainland China, at least 12,456 Church members have suffered harassment, including having their personal information collected, being forced to sign “statement of guarantee” which would mean renouncing their faith, being forced to be photographed, recorded on video and monitored, and having their fingerprints, blood samples and hair collected, etc.; at least 11,111 members have been arrested, and among them 6,757 members have been held in detention either for short or long periods, with 685 members suffering all manner of cruel tortures or forced indoctrination; 392 members have been sentenced, with half that number given severe sentences of 3 years or more and 8 members having been sentenced to more than 10 years, among whom, Bao Shuguang, a Christian from Shandong Province, was sentenced to 13 years in prison, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) also mentions the CAG Christians being sentenced in its 2018 annual report; at least 20 Christians have died as a result of persecution, among whom 7 have died at such extrajudicial interrogation units as “transformation through forced indoctrination centers”; at least 300 million RMB (about 44 million USD) has been unlawfully seized (including both church money and personal assets). The above-mentioned statistics are just a small portion of the information concerning the CCP’s persecution of CAG Christians in 2018 alone. Because of the severity of this persecution, it is simply impossible to collate the vast majority of the information. As the European Parliament member Tomáš Zdechovský said in a round table discussion held by the Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) and EU Reporter at the European Parliament on December 10 of 2018, the plight of CAG Christians in China is even worse than that of the Uyghur Muslims.
2. Summary of the Nature of the CCP’s Persecution
2.1 The CCP Conducts Thorough and Ongoing Investigations of The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in Preparation for Further Large-scale Arrests
In order to carry out Xi Jinping’s instructions and demands for the suppression and banning of The Church of Almighty God (CAG), all levels of the Chinese government have consolidated arrangements and launched special crackdown campaigns on the CAG, requiring that all within their jurisdiction who believe in Almighty God be investigated and searched. Taking Henan Province as an example, on May 7 of 2018, the Office of the Leading Group for the Prevention and Handling of Xie Jiao in a city of the province, issued a red-headed official document entitled Notice on Strengthening Coordination and Cooperation in All Efforts to Launch a Campaign to Crackdown on the “Almighty God” Xie Jiao Organization. This document clearly demands that “solid investigation be carried out to provide staunch support for the campaign,” and that all units should conduct the “comprehensive combing for persons currently existing in the database” and the “combing of historical case information to find clues about unregistered persons and to establish individual files and cards on a person-by-person basis,” “fully mobilize the masses and encourage them to report on and unmask suspected individuals by holding forums, visiting the masses and implementing an incentive monetary system for tip-offs,” “focus on statistical analysis to get a completely clear picture of the situation of the CAG, including their mainstays, sources of money, number of members, local distribution and trends in their development, etc.,” and “completely input the information on important personnel into the new database according to the classification criteria for rank based on the data obtained through solid investigation and campaigns,” and so on.
All levels of the Chinese government have comprehensively launched investigations throughout the entire country aimed at the CAG, such as the promotion of the Sharp Eyes Project (also known as the Project Dazzling Snow), which entailed the installation of monitoring cameras at village entrances and on roadways in order to increase monitoring efforts in rural areas; the Skynet Project is used to monitor Christians; “grid” management has been implemented against residents, with “grid personnel” established to investigate people one-by-one and to register residents’ beliefs. Every day, these personnel patrol buildings, go door to door, and record their conversations with residents, and they also check ID cards and rented accommodation; residents, residential property workers, sanitation workers, community building managers, retirees, waste collectors and water dispenser workers etc., have been deployed and provided with monetary award to give up information on CAG Christians, and even members of the Three-Self Church have been incited to make reports; electric vehicles, motorcycles and electronic equipment have been installed with monitoring devices in order to track and monitor Christians; police stations at grass-root levels have been ordered to complete genealogy forms for resident families stretching back five generations; students in college, middle school and elementary school are required to fill out a Faith Questionnaire, enabling the authorities to keep abreast of the beliefs of them and their families; people who are restricted from leaving the country are to be strictly investigated; CAG Christians are to have their passports confiscated and visas withdrawn, and so on.
The violent searches, long-term surveillance and harassment carried out by the Chinese authorities have forced a large number of Christians to flee their homes, become homeless and be separated from their families, and their basic human rights, such as the right to privacy and right to life, have been severely infringed and denied. On June 27 of 2018, Lu Yongfeng, a Christian from Liaoning Province, was located through satellite tracking and arrested by the CCP police. Five days later, she died as a result of her persecution. On September 19 of 2018, Luo Ruizhen, a Christian from Hubei Province, was monitored, tracked and arrested by the residential property manager and plain-clothes police while attending a gathering with three other Christians, and was afterward detained in a “transformation through indoctrination center” in Wuhan to undergo forced indoctrination. In the early hour of October 13, Luo Ruizhen died as a result of her persecution.
2.2 The CCP Launches Special Crackdown Campaigns in All Provinces and Cities Throughout the Country and Carries Out Large-scale Arrests
Once the Chinese authorities had a partial grip on the situation of CAG Christians, they began to implement large-scale arrests throughout the country. According to rough estimates, the Chinese authorities initiated at least several thousand various arrest operations throughout all provinces and cities in China in 2018 alone, arresting more than 10,000 Church members. The examples cited here below are just part of the picture of arrest operations:
On June 26, the CCP launched the “Operation Thunder” in Liaoning Province; during three days from June 26 to 28, at least 700 CAG Christians were arrested, and 2 were persecuted to death.
From June 11 to October 1, the Jiangxi Province authorities launched the “One-Hundred-Day Battle,” an operation aimed at suppressing the CAG. As a direct result of this, 200 CAG Christians were arrested, and over 100 members were questioned by the police at their home.
From July 24 to 31, the CCP launched the mass arrest operation codenamed “Fox” throughout the entire country, and within a week, at least 200 CAG Christians had been arrested in the city of Linfen, Shanxi Province, alone. Sources have reported that, during this mass arrest operation, the police used satellite tracking and human thermal analysis technology so that, even if cell phones were not connected to the internet, the police could still pursue Christians using the IP addresses associated to their electronic equipment.
From July to October, the Sichuan Province authorities launched a large-scale arrest. According to incomplete statistics, at least more than 5,300,000 RMB (about 788,450 USD) of personal and church assets were seized; at least 377 CAG Christians were arrested, 208 of whom were subject to incarceration, 90 are still in custody, and most of their whereabouts remain unknown.
In the “9/11” mass arrest launched in Zhejiang Province, at least 521 CAG Christians were arrested only within one day; among them, 159 were from Hangzhou City and 128 from Ningbo City, where the persecution was the most grievous.
On October 18, the CCP launched mass arrests in many areas of Anhui Province. Within two weeks, at least 200 CAG Christians had been arrested. According to incomplete statistics, in Hefei City alone, over 100 Church members were arrested and over 500 members forced to flee their homes. It was reported that the majority of Christians arrested during this operation had been detained by the authorities because of their belief in Almighty God or having applied for passports in recent years.
On October 26 and November 30 respectively, the Qinghai Provincial Public Security Department (PSD) carried out crackdown campaigns against the CAG in Haixi Prefecture and Xining City which led to the arrests of 49 Christians and 18 meeting places being searched. According to official CCP reports, more than 1,500 police officers from various departments were mobilized for the campaign, and after 8 months of surveillance, at least 245,900 RMB (about 36,680 USD) of Church money was seized.
In early December, the Heilongjiang Province authorities launched a new wave of large-scale arrest against CAG Christians. According to incomplete statistics, just in December, 260 members were arrested and 132 were detained across the province.
Below is a table of (incomplete) statistics showing numbers of CAG Christians who have been arrested, detained and sentenced throughout 30 provinces (municipalities and autonomous regions) of China:
Table 1: Numbers of CAG Christians Arrested, Detained, and Sentenced in 2018
|Province (Municipality, Autonomous region)||Arrested||Detained||Sentenced|
2.3 The CCP Carries Out Large-Scale Transformation Through Indoctrination on Arrested Christians, Forcing Them to Renounce Their Belief
In 2018, millions of Muslims in Xinjiang were detained by the Chinese authorities in transformation through re-education centers and forced to undergo indoctrination, thus attracting worldwide concern. In fact, forced indoctrination has been widely used by the Chinese government to persecute CAG Christians for many years. In 2018, many red-headed official documents issued by the CCP clearly demanded the existence of a working mechanism in accordance with the “integration of transformation through education and precise strikes,” and that “combined strikes and transformation, using strikes to promote transformation, using transformation to promote interrogation, and precise strikes” be implemented against the arrested Christians from the CAG.
The Chinese authorities have established transformation through indoctrination centers of different kinds throughout 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China, including various newly-built mountain villa resorts, hotels, guesthouses, study classes, and others. Within these transformation through indoctrination centers, Christians are typically monitored 24 hours a day and forced to watch educational films propagandizing atheism, evolutionism and nationalism. The CCP also deploys sources such as religious experts and psychiatrists to perform ideological transformation on Christians, forcing them to write statement of repentance, statement of breaking off ties and statement of guarantee etc., promising to abandon their faith and hand over all information on their church. Because CAG Christians staunchly adhere to their faith and refuse to accept transformation through indoctrination, they are subjected to highly intense interrogation and cruel tortures by the CCP police, and are even sentenced to prison terms, or subjected to extrajudicial killings.
For example, during the “9/11” mass arrest in Zhejiang Province, a large number of Christians were arrested and then subjected to forced indoctrination by the Chinese authorities. It has been reported that such places as the Kaiya Hotel and the Letian Hotel in Jinhua City, the Tianmao Hotel in Taizhou City, and the Wuzhou Hotel in Rui’an City were all used by the CCP to set up forced indoctrination classes to transform Christians. On September 27, in the Wuzhou Hotel in Rui’an City, Liu Lanying, a CAG Christian, was secretly interrogated by the police and underwent forced transformation through indoctrination. During this process, she died as a result of her persecution because she would not abandon her faith.
During the “7/27” mass arrest in Linfen City, Shanxi Province, at least 70 CAG Christians, with ages ranging from 17 to almost 70, were held in custody in Shennong Ecological Park in Changzhi City and forced to undergo “violent indoctrination.” Because they have refused to be transformed, many Christians have suffered varying degrees of cruel torture, such as electric shocks, beatings, being sprayed with tear gas, being doused in cold water, being made to stand on one leg day and night in the rain, being beaten with sticks, being forced to maintain a squatting position and being subjected to insults to their dignity. Although 28 Christians have been granted temporary release, the government continues to monitor them and demands that they keep their cell phones switched on 24 hours a day and report to Public Security units periodically. The government also forces them to join the WeChat group for official surveillance, and every day they have to go online to report their thoughts and whereabouts.
2.4 Persecution Reached Such a Height in 2018 That at Least 20 Christians Died as a Result
In 2018, the Chinese authorities stepped up their persecution of the CAG. According to incomplete statistics, at least 20 CAG Christians died as a result of persecution by the Chinese government in 2018 alone, with their right to life having been denied in various ways: Some died from being tortured by CCP police, some died after becoming seriously ill following the intentional withholding of treatment for medical conditions during prison sentences, and some committed suicide out of desperation after years of surveillance, harassment and pursuit by the CCP police. The following is a brief summary of 20 Christians who died in 2018 as a result of persecution:
Table 2: Brief Information of CAG Christians Persecuted to Death in 2018 (Incomplete)
|No||Name||Sex||Age||Native Place||Date of Arrest||Date of Death||Descriptions of Death|
|1||Liu Xin||Female||55||Chongqing||4/26/2018||8/30/2018||Tortured during interrogation; her skull was smashed and she died after emergency treatment was ineffective.|
|2||Liu Lanying||Female||52||Zhejiang||9/11/2018||9/27/2018||Died while in a CCP-run course of forced indoctrination. There was a deep, long mark on her neck; and there were bruises on her shoulders, chest, back, and legs.|
|3||Miao Zenghua||Female||50||Jilin||9/13/2018||9/14/2018||Died during interrogation; there were obvious injuries on her body.|
|4||Luo Ruizhen||Female||56||Hubei||9/19/2018||10/13/2018||Died while in a course of forced indoctrination. There were obvious injuries on her forehead and neck.|
|5||Xu Sailian||Female||63||Jiangxi||10/12/2016||10/18/2018||The police brutally tortured her, leaving her with a serious heart condition. She died after subsequent medical treatment was ineffective.|
|6||Zheng Kunchang||Male||35||Guangdong||8/22/2014||4/20/2018||Became ill while serving a sentence. The CCP intentionally delayed his treatment; his condition worsened and he died.|
|7||Xiao Songxiang||Female||55||Henan||12/19/2018||12/20/2018||Died from torture during interrogation by the CCP police.|
|8||Lu Yongfeng||Female||70||Liaoning||6/27/2018||7/2/2018||Died while in custody; cause of death remains unknown.|
|9||Xie Xin||Female||52||Guizhou||3/2018||4/1/2018||Died during interrogation by the CCP police while in custody; cause of death remains unknown.|
|10||Zhang Guohua||Male||59||Jiangxi||12/12/2012||2/21/2018||Suffered a stroke while performing heavy labor during his sentence, leaving the left side of his body paralyzed. He became unable to care for himself and died after his release from high blood pressure.|
|11||Wang Yufu||Female||64||Liaoning||6/27/2018||9/14/2018||During interrogation the police threatened to kill her and that if she were arrested again she would be sentenced to prison, leading her to suffer from extreme anxiety and panic. She had a heart attack and died.|
|12||Wang Hongli||Female||47||Shaanxi||8/4/2013||8/2/2018||Subjected to constant surveillance and harassment by the CCP police as well as text messages to threaten and intimidate her. She committed suicide because of the tremendous psychological pressure.|
|13||Feng Kaiju||Male||75||Anhui||12/12/2012||2/10/2018||While in custody, abuse and torture by the police led to him developing emphysema and asthma, and after his release he was still subjected to constant police surveillance and harassment. The torture of the incredible psychological pressure as well as his health problems eventually drove him to hang himself.|
|14||Li Jie||Male||58||Anhui||2012||7/6/2018||After his release, he still suffered constant surveillance and harassment by the CCP police, forcing him to flee the region. Forced by the CCP authorities, his family members also began pressuring him, causing him to have a nervous breakdown. He jumped into a river and drowned himself.|
|15||Zhang Qiang||Male||47||Jiangsu||10/21/2018||10/28/2018||He was arrested by the police in an effort to seize the church money. After his release he was kept under constant surveillance, causing him to hang himself.|
|16||Lin Cuizhen||Female||60||Jiangsu||12/5/2018||12/7/2018||After her arrest the police used her grandchildren’s work and future prospects as leverage to threaten her and force her to give up information on the Church. Unable to withstand the stress, she committed suicide.|
|17||Fan Ying||Female||54||Liaoning||12/21/2018||12/24/2018||Unable to withstand the CCP police’s torture and intimidation during interrogation and subjected to pressure from her family who were deceived, she committed suicide.|
|18||Li Li||Female||67||Chongqing||6/1/2018||6/25/2018||The police arrested, intimidated, and harassed her, and subjected her to transformation through indoctrination, trying to force her to give up information on other Christians. She was backed into a corner and committed suicide.|
|19||Shi Guangyun||Male||78||Anhui||7/2013||2/5/2018||Arrest and long-term surveillance by the police caused his coronary heart disease to flare up, leading to his death.|
|20||Zhang Suzhen||Female||51||Zhejiang||12/9/2012||10/19/2018||Long-term pursuit, threats, and intimidation by the police left her living in constant fear. She died of sudden diabetes complications that were left untreated.|
2.5 The CCP Gathers Information About the Situation of CAG Christians Overseas, and It Launches False Demonstrations in an Attempt to Disintegrate CAG Communities Abroad
In order to persecute CAG Christians who have fled abroad, the Chinese government not only exerts pressure on the governments of democratic countries through economic and diplomatic means, it fabricates vast amounts of rumors and lies in an attempt to deceive and dupe foreign democratic governments and force all governments to refuse Christians’ applications for political asylum. It also intimidates the families of Christians into going abroad to “seek their relatives” and it fabricates false public opinions in order to extradite Christians back to China and reach its despicable goal of “controlling and weakening the overseas communities of The Church of Almighty God.”
On August 30 of 2018, eleven family members of CAG Christians hailing from China’s provinces of Hebei, Hunan, Henan and Jilin, arrived at Jeju Island, South Korea. In the following five days, the Korean pro-CCP Ms. O Myung-ok had these families participate in demonstrations outside the Jeju Immigration Office, the premises of the CAG in Onsu, and the Blue House, in an attempt to create fake news and rumors in Korea to influence public opinion, discredit the CAG and obstruct Christians from applying for asylum. It is understood that these families travelled to South Korea after being intimidated by the CCP and were forbidden to see their family members until their five-day demonstrations were completed. The family member of a Christian surnamed Chen was among those who travelled to Korea to “seek their relatives.” His relative told him that people from the Chinese government organized their journey, and if he did not return to China, then the whole family would be in trouble and the consequences would not bear thinking about. Another Christian surnamed Kim who was “sought by her relatives” said that while she was in Korea, she was often in touch with her mother who was in China, and her mother knew that she was doing well in Korea. That her mother came to Korea and joined such demonstrations that distorted the facts and discredited the CAG showed that she was being manipulated by the CCP.
Moreover, the Chinese authorities have gone to great lengths to investigate CAG Christians overseas and have arrested Christians returning to China in an attempt to sound out and gather information on the overseas communities of the CAG. Between May and September 2018, five CAG Christians were arrested returning to China from abroad. Their whereabouts remain unknown, and some Christians have even been coerced into returning to the CAG in foreign countries to act as undercover agents. On September 2, Liu Hui, a Christian who returned briefly to China from Korea, was arrested at the airport by CCP police as she was preparing to fly back to Korea. She was taken to a secret underground location for interrogation and was forced to undergo transformation through indoctrination. They forced her to tell them about the situation of the CAG in Korea, and coerced her into returning to her church in Korea to act as an undercover agent, cooperating with the gathering and inquiring about information about the Church.
The Chinese authorities also spy on foreign citizens through electronic products exported from China in order to steal information on CAG Christians. In September 2018, a young Indian Christian named Arnav (a pseudonym), who was exploring the CAG, was harassed by a man who claimed to be from China’s National Cybersecurity Agency via four different WhatsApp accounts, because he had contacted a CAG Christian in Hong Kong using WhatsApp, and had downloaded the CAG app. The man offered to give Arnav 2,500 USD in exchange for the name and address of this CAG Christian in Hong Kong, but he refused. The same man threatened that CAG Christians in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan would all be arrested by the CCP police in the future.
3. Heavy Persecution of the CAG Draws International Community’s Concerns; Asylum Granted to Exiled CAG Christians Overseas
Due to the CCP’s cruel suppression and persecution of the CAG, more and more CAG Christians have to flee overseas. Some countries have begun to understand and acknowledge the persecution of CAG Christians and granted them asylum. In Canada and New Zealand, asylum approval rates for CAG members have reached 90% and 100% respectively.
On November 26, 2018, Church member Zou Demei, who fled to the US due to the CCP’s hunting and persecution, received a favorable decision that the motion to reopen her asylum case was granted on reconsideration by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
The persecution of the CAG is increasingly getting more serious, and has attracted concern from more and more NGOs, human rights organizations and journalists from such countries as the US, Italy, France, Spain and South Korea.
In March and September 2018 respectively, at the 37th and 39th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council held in Geneva, Mr. Thierry Valle, president of the Coordination of the Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience (CAP LC) spoke about the plight of the CAG, pointing out that the rumors fabricated by the Chinese government to lay false charges against and frame the CAG have already been laid bare by many academic studies of well-known scholars, and he demanded that the Chinese government cease its persecution of the CAG and cease its international campaigns of fake news against the CAG, and he urged all member states of the UN to grant political asylum to the CAG Christians who have had to flee their homes.
On July 23 of 2018, the US State Department held a ministerial conference for the promotion of religious freedom. At the opening side event about China on July 23, the CAG Christian Jiang Guimei recounted her experiences in 2008, when she was arrested by the CCP police and subjected to re-education through labor and cruel tortures such as electric shocks, the tortures of “plane flying (that is, forcing her to keep her knees bent halfway with her arms stretched straight out),” being hung up by handcuffs and forcibly fed with mustard oil, thus raising awareness and concern among the conference’s attendees about the truth of the persecution of CAG Christians.
On September 13, the 2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was held in Warsaw, and Professor Massimo Introvigne, founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), Mr. Willy Fautré, executive director of Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) and Ms. Rosita Šorytė, president of the International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees (ORLIR), all spoke at the conference on behalf of the CAG, calling for the elimination of discrimination against the CAG within the OSCE region and the granting of proper protections to CAG Christians. At the conference, Professor Massimo Introvigne said: “The Church of Almighty God [is] a Chinese Christian new religious movement listed as a xie jiao since 1995. The Church of Almighty God has been persecuted since 1995 or before, and more than 300,000 members of the Church have been arrested and detained in China.”
In 2018, the UN conducted its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of China. Several NGOs, including the Coordination of the Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience (CAP LC), the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB), the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom (EIFRF), the Center for Studies on Freedom of Religion, Belief and Conscience (LIREC) in Italy and SOTERIA International submitted six assessment reports concerning human rights in China. All the information presented mentions the persecution of the CAG, with one report being jointly signed by CAP-LC, an NGO that enjoys consultative ECOSOC status at the UN, and other organizations. These reports have all been published on the UN’s website. In November, the UN published the summary of submissions on China by NGOs, mentioning that “during 2014-2018, the Chinese Communist Party’s monitoring, arrest, and persecution had caused at least 500,000 Church of Almighty God Christians to flee their home, and several hundred thousand families had been torn apart.”
On January 28, 2019, US Congress Lantos Commission adopts CAG Christian Mo Xiufeng as a prisoner of conscience. Mo Xiufeng, female, born in 1988, a native of Nanning City, Guangxi Province, was arrested by the CCP police for her belief in Almighty God on July 2, 2017 and was sentenced to 9 years in prison in 2018.
The fundamental reason for the CCP’s frenzied suppression and persecution of religious belief is that the CCP believes in Marxist-Leninist atheism, and therefore it frantically suppresses and cruelly persecutes religious belief and God’s appearance and work. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx, the founder of the Communist Party, says openly, “But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality….” Documents issued by the Chinese government also overtly declare that “religion is the opium that anesthetizes the people…. We must staunchly struggle against religion, liberate the masses from the bondage of religion and promote the gradual weakening of religion until it is made extinct.” This statement forms the basis for the CCP’s cruel suppression and persecution of religious belief. Since the CAG was founded in 1991, the CCP has most hated Christ who expresses truths and those who follow Him, and the CCP has not only frantically suppressed and persecuted the CAG, but has also fabricated large quantities of public opinion to discredit and vilify the Church, and has adopted such terrorist policies of extinction against CAG Christians as “being beaten to death is to die for nothing, it’s suicide,” and “physical annihilation and spiritual collapse,” thereby severely violating Christians’ basic human rights and depriving them of such rights as the right of freedom of belief and the right to life. In 2019, this persecution continues to intensify, and the living conditions of millions of CAG Christians in China are becoming increasingly desperate. Even CAG Christians who fled abroad have also been subject to the CCP’s interception and persecution, and are in constant danger of being forcibly extradited back to China. Faced with the CCP’s crazy suppression and persecution, the CAG has no other option rather than to make known the truth of its persecution, as well as the various data and information concerning the suffering of this persecution, in hope of obtaining the support of the international community and human rights organizations.
Attachment: 19 Selected Typical Cases in 2018
1) The CCP Subjects CAG Christians to Extrajudicial Killings
1. Lu Yongfeng, female, was born on October 16, 1948 and lived in Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province. She joined The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in 1999 and died in July 2018 as a result of “Operation Thunder” launched by the Liaoning Province authorities. At 3:00 a.m. on June 27, 2018, over ten officers with Liaoning’s Beipiao City (a county-level city under the city of Chaoyang) Criminal Police Brigade located through satellite positioning and arrested Lu Yongfeng and her husband Zou Jixue. They then forcibly took Lu to the Chaoyang Public Security Bureau for detainment and interrogation. The morning of July 2, Zou was taken by police officers to the Beipiao No. 2 People’s Hospital ICU where he saw his wife, who had already stopped breathing, but the doctors were merely pretending to give her emergency treatment. The afternoon of July 4, two officers leapt on the opportunity of Zou passing out to grab his hand and sign his name and put his thumbprint on an unnamed document. Their daughter, Zou Demei, used to be a CAG leader in charge of four regions (Sichuan Province, Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province, and Chongqing Municipality), but was designated as a wanted criminal by the Chinese Communist Party and has fled to the United States. A number of well-known NGOs have called attention to her plight.
2. Liu Xin (pseudonym), female, was from the Hechuan District of Chongqing Municipality; she joined The Church of Almighty God in 2007. The morning of April 26, 2018, Liu Xin was arrested by three or four plainclothes police officers while out window-shopping with her granddaughter. They handcuffed her and brought her back to her home to search it, where they confiscated a large quantity of church literature and CDs. She was then taken to a secret interrogation location where she was brutally tortured for 25 days. On May 21, she was taken to the Hechuan District People’s Hospital in Chongqing for emergency treatment due to severe injuries inflicted by the torture. The doctor’s diagnosis was that her skull had been smashed and there was no way to extract the bone fragments, and her intestines were tangled—she was at death’s door. She stayed in the ICU for three months, but ultimately the treatment turned out to be a failure. She passed away on August 30, 2018 at the age of 55.
3. Miao Zenghua (pseudonym Jiang Lihua), female, born in 1968, was from Dunhua City in Jilin Province. She joined The Church of Almighty God in 2007. Before her death, Miao Zenghua was a mid-level leader of the Church; once the Chinese Communist Party officials learned of this, they designated her as a key target for arrest. On the evening of September 13, 2018, Miao was arrested by officers from the Dunhua Public Security Bureau (PSB) at her home. She had a heart attack on the spot and was sent to the hospital for emergency treatment. After regaining consciousness, she was taken by the police to the local PSB to be tortured for a confession, even when the doctors had not yet determined if the danger of her death had passed. The evening of September 14, her family were notified by the PSB and rushed to the hospital, where they discovered that she was not breathing, and there were huge purple and blue marks all over her left arm and on her legs. They were clearly the result of terrible torture. Her medical record states that when an ambulance arrived at the PSB the afternoon of September 14, she had already stopped breathing and had no heartbeat.
4. Luo Ruizhen (pseudonym) was a 56-year-old woman from Wuhan City in Hubei Province; she joined The Church of Almighty God in 2003. While gathering at a meeting place in Wuhan on September 19, 2018, she was arrested by over ten police officers and was subsequently taken to a transformation through education center in Wuhan’s Caidian District to undergo forced indoctrination. She was put under 24-hour surveillance by two security officers. The afternoon of October 13, a village committee member called her husband, claiming that she had committed suicide at 2:00 a.m. on October 13. Luo’s family members went to the local police station, demanding to know her cause of death. The officers claimed that she had hanged herself, which her family didn’t believe. On October 19 in the morning, Luo’s family members went to the crematorium. The police would only take her elder sister and her daughter-in-law for one last look at her. Her sister saw obvious injuries on the right side of her forehead and there was a long, thin mark on her neck. However, she didn’t believe that her sister had committed suicide; when she tried to pull Luo’s mouth open, the two officers present roughly shooed them out. The police then had her cremated right away.
5. Liu Lanying (pseudonym), female, born in 1966, was from Linhai City in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province; she joined The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in 2003. Prior to her arrest, she had been living in the city of Rui’an in Zhejiang Province. On September 11, 2018, Liu was arrested by local police officers while in a gathering, and was then taken to the Wuzhou Hotel for secret interrogations and transformation through forced indoctrination. On September 26, the police intimidated her family into going to the hotel to try to persuade her to sign a document renouncing her faith, but she resolutely refused. The morning of September 27, Liu Lanying’s family received an unexpected call from the police, claiming that she had hanged herself in the hotel. That afternoon when they saw her remains, they noticed that there was a very deep, long mark on her neck; and there were also bruises on her shoulders, chest, back and legs. They suspected that she had been tortured to death by the police. When they returned to the hotel to see the surveillance footage, they discovered that the hotel was a dedicated site for courses of forced indoctrination for CAG Christians and Falun Gong practitioners. The surveillance footage was of such poor quality that they were unable to ascertain the torture Liu Lanying had suffered.
6. Zheng Kunchang, male, was born on September 19, 1983. He was from Lufeng City in Guangdong Province and joined The Church of Almighty God in 2008. He was arrested by the Chinese police on August 22, 2014 while in a gathering in Nantang Town, Lufeng City. In May 2015, the Lufeng People’s Court gave him a three-year sentence on the charge of “using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law,” after which they transferred him to the Guangdong Sihui Prison to serve his sentence. In March of 2017, Zheng began suffering from a severe anorectal disease, but the prison just ignored his condition. It wasn’t until April when his condition had worsened that they secretly arranged for him to undergo surgery without obtaining his family’s approval. After the operation he was in critical condition and didn’t regain consciousness. They refused to release him on medical parole with the excuse that “Zheng Kunchang believes in Almighty God and is a special prisoner.” This went on until May 8, 2017 when he was diagnosed as advanced colorectal cancer and released on bail, at which time he was at his last gasp and was nothing but a bag of bones. He couldn’t speak; his legs were shriveled and he was unable to walk. A doctor later diagnosed him with sigmoid colon cancer with abdominal metastases, complete intestinal obstruction, as well as water-electrolyte and acid-base balance disorders. The optimal treatment period had already passed. On April 20, 2018, Zheng Kunchang died due to the seriousness of his illness that was incurable. He was just 35 years old.
7. Xie Xin (pseudonym), female, was born on April 13, 1966. She was from Guiyang City in Guizhou Province and joined The Church of Almighty God in 2005. In March 2018 she was arrested by police officers from the Guiyang’s Huaxi District because of her faith in Almighty God. The evening of April 1, the police informed Xie’s family that she had died. The next day her family rushed to Guiyang Public Security Bureau Economic and Technological Development Zone Sub-bureau to seek an explanation from the police. Mr. Wu, the captain of the Criminal Investigations Brigade, said that Xie Xin had hanged herself in the shower, but her family were very skeptical. While detained, how was it possible the police had allowed her to shower alone? The police didn’t respond directly to her family’s questions, but instead threatened and intimidated them, saying that if they continued to pursue the issue, her family members would be implicated and those who were employed would lose their jobs. Afraid of retaliation and persecution by the CCP, all they could do was swallow their anger—they didn’t dare pursue it any further. What made them particularly indignant was that the police wouldn’t allow them to see Xie Xin’s remains; they only returned the ashes to her family after her cremation.
2) The CCP Arbitrarily Detains and Imprisons CAG Christians
8. Bao Shuguang, female, was born on August 31, 1976 in Shandong Province’s Haiyang City. She was arrested on June 1, 2017 by police officers with the Shizhong Branch of Zaozhuang Public Security Bureau in Shandong while serving as a top leader of The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in Shandong Province. On June 23 of 2017, she was put into criminal detention. On October 22, 2018, the Shizhong District People’s Court in Zaozhuang City gave Bao Shuguang a thirteen-year sentence on the charge of “organizing and using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law.” She was deprived of her political rights for a period of four years and was fined 130,000 RMB (about 19,000 USD). Jiang Xingmei, Bai Lanxiang, and Chen Hong, also top CAG leaders who were arrested along with Bao, were all sentenced to a term of twelve years and were each fined 120,000 RMB (about 18,000 USD). Gu Liya, another top CAG leader, was sentenced to eleven years and fined 110,000 RMB (about 16,000 USD). Those four were deprived of their political rights for a period of three years.
9. Liu Junhua, male, was born in Heze City, Shandong Province on January 1, 1965, and he joined The Church of Almighty God in 2004. The afternoon of October 24, 2017, he and two other Christians were at a Christian’s home in Heze’s Mudan District working on writing scripts when they were arrested and detained by officers with the National Security Brigade of the Heze Public Security Bureau Mudan Sub-bureau. On August 8, 2018, Liu was given a ten-year sentence by the Mudan District People’s Court for “using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law,” and he was fined 50,000 RMB (about 7,500 USD). The two other Christians arrested along with him were each sentenced to ten years on the same charge; they also received fines of 50,000 RMB (about 7,500 USD). Liu and the other two Christians appealed against their sentence, but were rejected by the Heze City Intermediate People’s Court of Shandong Province. The original verdict was upheld.
10. Mo Xiufeng, female, born on April 16, 1988, is from Nanning City in Guangxi Province and her home is in Qingtian County, Lishui City, Zhejiang Province. She joined The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in 2012. The afternoon of July 2, 2017, six or seven plainclothes officers with the Lishui Public Security Bureau (PSB)’s National Security Brigade burst into Mo’s home. They arrested her and her husband and took them to the Lishui PSB Liandu District Public Security Sub-bureau’s Wanxiang Police Station for interrogation. The morning of July 3, the police took Mo Xiufeng to Dongxiyan Hotel located in Shaxi Village, Laozhu Town, Lishui City where they subjected her to forced indoctrination, attempting to force her to renounce her faith and divulge information on other Christians as well as where the church money was held. When Mo refused to say anything, the police brutally tortured her. They didn’t allow her to sleep for several consecutive days—the moment she nodded off they’d make her stand on top of a stool, so she didn’t dare close her eyes. They tried to break down her will by using these kinds of cruel techniques. They subjected her to forced indoctrination for 18 days, but in the end their efforts were unsuccessful.
On July 21, the Lishui PSB Liandu District Public Security Sub-bureau subjected Mo to criminal detention on suspicion of “organizing and using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law”; they put her in custody in the Lishui City Detention Center. In March 2018, the Liandu District People’s Court of Lishui City sentenced Mo Xiufeng to a term of nine years and fined her 30,000 RMB (about 4,500 USD) on charge of “organizing and using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law.” The eleven other CAG Christians who were arrested on the same day with her were sentenced to terms between three and eight years, and were fined amounts between 5,000 RMB (about 750 USD) and 25,000 RMB (about 3,750 USD).
11. Wang Lingjie, female, born on August 18, 1987, is from the Gulou District of Fujian Province’s Fuzhou City. She joined The Church of Almighty God in 2007. The evening of March 23, 2017, Wang and Zhou Hualan were arrested in Ji’an City, Jiangxi Province by over 20 officers with the National Security Brigade of Jizhou District, Ji’an City. On March 24 and 25, Cai Ruhua and Li Xiaoling, another two Christians who came to meet Wang Lingjie, were also arrested by the police respectively. On March 24, Wang was subjected to criminal detention on suspicion of “organizing and using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law.” On April 8 of 2017, she was assigned to residential surveillance in Ji’an City’s Qingyuan Mountain Villa Resort. During this time, the Chinese government sent professionals particularly to indoctrinate and transform Wang in an attempt to force her to renounce her faith as well as give up information on other Christians and the Church. Their efforts were to no avail. On May 9, Wang was transferred to the Ji’an City Detention Center.
On January 4, 2018, the Jizhou District People’s Court sentenced Wang Lingjie to a term of nine years and fined her 20,000 RMB (about 3,000 USD) on the charge of “organizing and using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law.” The three other Christians arrested along with Wang were all sentenced as well. Among them, Zhou Hualan and Cai Ruhua were given eight-year sentences and each fined 15,000 RMB (about 2,200 USD). In late January 2018, Wang Lingjie was transferred to the Nanchang Women’s Prison in Jiangxi Province to serve out her sentence.
3) The CCP Cruelly Tortures CAG Christians
12. Aizhen (pseudonym), female, is from Jiujiang City in Jiangxi Province. On May 9, 2018, the 54-year-old Aizhen was arrested in a police’s raid. She was brutally beaten and humiliated. While at the police station, three police chiefs took turns questioning Aizhen from 5:00 p.m. the day of her arrest until the afternoon of the following day without letting her sleep, eat, or drink. They kept interrogating her on her name and address, and attempted to force her to give up information on the Church as well as sign a document renouncing her faith. When she refused to comply, the police took off their leather shoes and used them to viciously smack the left side of her face, which became numb on the spot. The afternoon of May 16, the police transferred her to a detention center and indicated to the prison guards that she was a believer in Almighty God and required “special treatment.” While in custody, Aizhen was frequently subjected to beatings by both the prison guards and other prisoners. On three occasions she was handcuffed and suspended from a pole for drying laundry, then beaten; each time both of her hands were numb and trembling, and her entire body was beaten black and blue.
The prison guards also made Aizhen stand at attention facing the bathroom wall for over two hours every day and got other prisoners to watch over her. When they noticed her praying, they would beat her. They also pulled her into the restroom and pressed her head down on the floor, then hit her face, buttocks, and thighs with the soles of their shoes. They hit her all over her body and used plastic combs to viciously smack her on her thighs, which became completely swollen and bruised. It was so painful that it left her trembling. The inmates also stomped on Aizhen and insulted her dignity with filthy language. The police also instigated prisoners on three different occasions to release insects on Aizhen to bite her. She was tortured to the point that she was injured from head to toe; upon seeing the insects she started trembling all over. Once, the head of the prisoners intentionally humiliated Aizhen by forcing her to strip from the waist up and sit in the main hall where surveillance equipment was located in order to shame and mock her.
On June 10, 2018, Aizhen was released. After returning home her arms hurt so much that she couldn’t fully extend them, and even after several rounds of treatment there was no improvement. They are still incredibly painful to this day.
13. Yang Xuan, female, 33 years old, is from Xinyi City in Jiangsu Province. She joined The Church of Almighty God in 2008. After being arrested in July 2018, she was subjected to 22 days of brutal torture including “exhausting the eagle” and “doing the splits.” At 12:30 a.m. on July 26, 2018, Yang was at the home of a Christian in Xuzhou City when seven police officers with the local police station suddenly pried open the door and burst in to arrest her. That day at 5:00 p.m., the officers took Yang to a hotel in Xuzhou for interrogation, attempting to force her to give up information on where the church money was kept. She refused to divulge anything. They viciously boxed her ears and grabbed her by the hair, yanking her down and back up over and over again. They pulled her hair so violently that it fell off her head onto the floor here and there. The officers then handcuffed her behind her back to the back of the chair so that when she slid down, the weight of her entire body was pressing on her two arms. The teeth on the handcuffs dug deep into her flesh—the pain was unbearable.
The next day Mr. Liu, the chief of the police station, continued to interrogate Yang Xuan on the whereabouts of the church money. Seeing she wouldn’t say a word, he viciously smacked her in the face, tweaked her ears, and pressed on the acupuncture points around her neck—Yang was in incredible pain. One officer barked at her: “It’s national policy to ‘lock some up, do some in.’ For cases like yours, there’s no limit to how long we can interrogate you!”
On August 3, the police transferred Yang to a hotel in another city (Xinyi) to continue their secret interrogations. In an effort to force her to give up information on the church money, they wouldn’t allow her to sleep for three consecutive days. They also viciously smacked the sides of her head over and over, and grabbed her head and banged it into the wall. She heard a humming sound reverberating through her head and her entire face was bruised.
By the evening of August 12, Yang hadn’t slept for ten days, but the police still continued to torture her. Two officers stood next to her, one on each side, grabbing her legs and yanking them out to the side to make her “do the splits.” She was in so much pain that her entire body was trembling uncontrollably—she was crying out in agony. Early morning of August 16 when the officers were soundly asleep, Yang seized on the opportunity and luckily, was able to escape from the hotel. Suffering 22 days of brutal torture at the hands of the police, Yang Xuan had been brutalized in both body and heart. She walks with a limp to this day from the injury done to her legs through torture, and her thumbs and the back of her hands are numb, lacking feeling.
14. Wang Yixin (pseudonym), a 42-year-old woman from Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province, is a Christian of The Church of Almighty God. She was arrested on September 11, 2018 and was brutally tortured for 49 days.
A little past 6 a.m. on September 11, 2018, thirty special tactical officers pried open the door to the home Wang Yixin was renting and burst in. They put black hoods over the heads of her and her landlord, cuffed them with plastic handcuffs, and then took them to the local Special Police Brigade. Wang suffers from high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, and heart problems. That evening her blood pressure was 180 mmHg, but the police disregarded her condition and continued to interrogate her intensively, trying to push her into identifying other Christians. The following day a little after 9:00 a.m., the police once again put black hoods over Wang and her landlord, put them into a car, and then took them to a hotel at a mountain villa resort, locking them up separately with two people keeping watch over them. The hotel room doors were particularly designed so that they could only be opened from the outside—it was impossible to open them from the inside. Wang’s blood pressure remained 180 mmHg for several days. She also came down with a cold, becoming feverish and vomited, but the police paid no mind at all to her condition. They continued to try to get her to tell them the password to her computer and divulge information on the Church.
The afternoon of September 17, again, the police put a black hood over Wang’s head and transferred her to a secret interrogation room. They demanded her computer password as well as information on church leaders and other Christians. Seeing she refused to respond, an officer ordered her to kneel down on the floor, handcuffed her hands behind her back, and then kneeled on her back while yanking her cuffed hands up and back. She instantly felt unbelievable pain through her back, shoulders, and arms—she cried out in pain. Another officer forcefully pulled her fingers backwards, pulled on the tendons in her shoulders, and then yanked on her wrists. She was in so much pain that she could not help but cry out. Wang was tortured to the point that her entire body was trembling, and she began to cough and vomit. Afraid that she would die and they’d be unable to get information on the Church out of her, the police temporarily stopped their torture and sent her back to the hotel. During this entire time, they never removed the hood from her head.
After that the police never stopped their interrogation of her. They demanded that she give up her faith and sign a statement blaspheming God, and repeatedly showed her photographs of other Christians to have her identify them. They also threatened her with her son’s future prospects, but no matter what, Wang Yixin refused to cooperate with them. The evening of October 29, her husband paid 5,000 RMB (about 750 USD) and she was released on bail.
15. Yu Baorong, female, was born on October 15, 1965. She is from the Quanshan District of Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province. She joined The Church of Almighty God in 2014. The afternoon of June 9, 2018, as Yu Baorong was in a rented room on Bazi Street in the Gulou District of Xuzhou in a gathering with two other Christians from the Church, eight or nine uniformed officers with Xuzhou’s Tongshan District Xuzhuang Police Station broke through the door and entered the room to arrest them. They then took them to the Xuzhou Economic Development Zone Public Security Sub-bureau to be interrogated separately.
Around 7:00 p.m. that evening, police officers Zhang Xin and Liu Chengwei questioned Yu Baorong on the information of her and the Church. Seeing that she didn’t talk, Liu Chengwei grabbed her hair with one hand, and balled his other hand into a fist, viciously punching her in the face and eyes, and then gritting his teeth and fuming with rage, he smacked her face over and over with an empty mineral-water bottle. He then took off his belt and repeatedly hit her mouth with it, which immediately swelled up and was burning with pain. The area around her eyes became bruised and swollen with blood and her lips also swelled up with blood. (A medical examination later revealed that she suffered nasal mucosal congestion in both nostrils, middle and inferior turbinate hypertrophy, left ear’s tympanic membrane congestion invagination, and absence of the light cone.) Seeing she wouldn’t say anything, the police continued whipping her head a number of times. It wasn’t until 4:00 a.m. that they paused their torture.
The next afternoon, the police took Yu to a hotel to continue their secret interrogation, forcing her to divulge information on the Church. When they realized she still wouldn’t talk, an officer with the surname Zheng viciously hit her left arm with his hand, and Liu Chengwei savagely punched her right shoulder. Yu was gnashing her teeth in pain. Following that, Zheng continued to interrogate her for five days straight, all the while hitting her in the left arm until it was completely swollen and bruised and hurt so much that she couldn’t even lift it. On June 16, Yu was taken into custody at the Sanpu Detention Center in Xuzhou City.
The morning of July 21, the police demanded that Yu Baorong pay bail money of 5,000 RMB (about 750 USD); they then released her on bail pending trial. They warned her: “When you go back home, you cannot keep practicing your faith. You can’t go out of town—you need to come running when we call!” When she got home she lied down on her bed, utterly limp and weak. She was in unbearable pain where the police had beaten her, and after over a month the swelling and bruising in her left arm was barely going down and the color of the bruises was fading a little. It is still painful to this day.
4) The CCP Seizes Vast Amounts of Church Money as Well as Christians’ Personal Assets
16. Fu Haisheng (pseudonym), male, 70 years old, is from Ningbo City in Zhejiang Province. He is a Christian of The Church of Almighty God (CAG). At 6:00 a.m. on September 11, 2018, more than a dozen plainclothes police officers burst into his home and forcibly arrested both him and his daughter, Fu Li (pseudonym). They also searched his home and seized 780,000 RMB (about 115,500 USD) of church money, 1 kg of gold, personal assets of 110,000 RMB (about 16,300 USD), as well as over 700 volumes of church literature. The total value of the seized assets is about 1,210,000 RMB (about 180,000 USD). The police demanded to know where the church money had come from and showed Fu Haisheng a picture of another Christian for him to identify, but he refused to respond. The morning of September 12, the police took him to a local transformation through indoctrination base to subject him to forced indoctrination, and arranged for two people to keep watch over him 24 hours a day. At the base, the police had Fu read negative propaganda materials every day, trying to force him to renounce his faith and give up information on the Church. The two people keeping watch over him frequently asked him how many other believers there were in his family and where the money and books of God’s words had come from. On September 20, Fu was transferred to a local detention center where he was kept until October 19.
The day of Fu’s arrest, five police officers also barged into the hospital room of his 63-year-old wife, Guo Shunjin. Without showing any documents, they ripped out her IV and took her out of the hospital. Guo suffers from diabetes and had been in the hospital for treatment for only two days. Her doctor told the police that her condition was very serious, but the police disregarded the doctor’s warning, insisting on taking her to the local transformation through indoctrination base. They arranged for two people to keep close watch over her movements and forced her to watch negative propaganda videos smearing the CAG every day and to write out what she had learned. Guo Shunjin was eventually released on September 27.
17. The homes of two Christian families in Jiangsu Province were arbitrarily searched and 1.47 million RMB (about 217,500 USD) of church money was plundered.
Gao Hua (pseudonym), female, 68 years old, is a Christian from The Church of Almighty God (CAG). On June 17, 2018, six officers with the National Security Brigade in Jiangsu’s Pizhou City ganged up with six officers from the local police station and the village secretary to barge into and search Gao’s home. The police pried up the floor tiles in her home, broke open the ceiling, dug a pit in her kitchen over one meter long, and pried open the cement boards under her cookers. They also dug a half-meter deep hole all around the ginkgo tree in her courtyard, tore down the stones stacked up outside, and smashed up the cement boards covering the gutter. They even took the water meter box apart…. After three hours, everything inside and outside of the house was in complete disorder—it was a scene of utter chaos. Seeing they still hadn’t found the church money, an officer yelled out: “The money is here. We can’t leave a single stone unturned—we have to find it!” Ultimately, the village secretary found 568,000 RMB (about 83,000 USD) in the flour storage drum; they confiscated it all on the spot. They took Gao to a hotel in Pizhou, where they questioned her nonstop for three days, attempting to force her to divulge the source of the church money, but their questioning was fruitless. On June 20, Gao was taken to the Xuzhou City Detention Center for detainment and was released on bail on July 5. She remains under police surveillance to this day.
Both Fu Chi (pseudonym, male, 60 years old) and his wife Xin Mei (pseudonym, female, 55 years old) are Christians of The Church of Almighty God. On August 4, seven or eight officers from a police station in Xuzhou City pried open the door to Fu Chi’s home and barged in, warning the couple and their 13-year-old grandson not to move. Without showing any documents they began searching the house, cutting open boxes with knives and prying up beds. They found books of Almighty God’s words, and then found 900,000 RMB (about 133,100 USD) of church money that the couple had been safeguarding. They confiscated all of it on the spot. The police then took the couple and their grandson to a police station in Xuzhou for interrogation. On September 14, the Xuzhou police detained Fu Chi and Xin Mei on suspicion of “organizing and using a superstitious sect and xie jiao organization as well as superstition to undermine the enforcement of the law.” Both Fu and Xin are still in custody at the Xuzhou Detention Center.
18. Liu Yang (pseudonym), male, 21 years old, is from Xuzhou City. He and his family were arrested because of their belief in Almighty God, and personal assets worth 230,000 RMB (about 33,800 USD) were seized. On August 7, 2018, over 30 officers from a police station in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province were mobilized to forcibly enter the home of Liu Yang, a believer in Almighty God. After searching his home for more than four hours, the police found 220,000 RMB (about 32,500 USD) in cash, a passport, jade bracelets, bank cards, ID cards, and other personal items—they were all confiscated. The officers then took Liu, his aunt, and his grandmother to a local police station while leaving two officers behind at his home in ambush.
That evening three officers questioned Liu Yang. They kicked him down to the ground and took turns boxing his ears and forced him to stand in a deep squat. They asked, “There was so much money in your house—it was the church money, wasn’t it?” Liu responded truthfully that it was his father’s savings, but the police tried to intimidate him into acknowledging it was the church money. The interrogation lasted until midnight, but they were unsuccessful.
On August 8, the officer in charge asked Liu Yang if there were any gold bars in his home, and he denied. The police brought him back to his house to search it again, and this time found 10,000 RMB (about 1,500 USD) in his grandmother’s room. They then took Liu, his aunt, and his grandmother to a hotel to undergo forced indoctrination. The police finally released the three on August 10 after their family members used their connections to help. Liu’s grandmother, nearly 70 years old, was tortured by the police; both of her feet were left so swollen that she was unable to walk. The figures show that the police seized more than 230,000 RMB (about 34,000 USD) in personal assets from the Liu family. At their insistence, the police only returned Liu Yang’s ID card as well as his aunt’s cellphone and necklace. The rest has not been returned.
5) The CCP Prevents CAG Christians From Practicing Their Right to Political Asylum
19. Jia Zhigang, male, is from Shenyang City, Liaoning Province and used to be a mainland Chinese film actor. He joined The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in 2007. He was subjected to persecution by the government of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because of his belief in Almighty God, and in April 2014 fled to South Korea. In March 2018, Jia received a letter from the South Korean police saying that a South Korean citizen had filed a report on behalf of his relatives claiming that he, his wife, and child had disappeared and were under the CAG’s control. In mid-March, Jia’s sister went to South Korea, and he personally told her that he was living and practicing his faith freely in Korea. Over the course of their conversation, he realized that his sister wasn’t speaking freely and was under someone else’s control.
The following day, Jia went to his sister’s hotel room on his own to see her. After he asked her over and over again why she had come to Korea and who had come with her, she finally admitted that police officers with the Chinese State Security Bureau had come with her, and that they had sought her out multiple times to learn more about Jia. They repeatedly pushed her into coming to South Korea and offered to pay for her plane ticket and arrange for her accommodations. She had no choice but to agree to go with them. After the talk with Jia Zhigang, his sister saw that he and his wife and son had a free and carefree life in South Korea, and she went back to China very much relieved.
On August 30, 2018, Jia’s brother-in-law, with some relatives of the CAG members who are in South Korea, went to Korea to “seek for a lost relative.” When Jia and his wife contacted the foreign affairs police asking to see him, they faced strong opposition from Ms. O Myung-ok, a pro-CCP activist in South Korea saying they could meet each other only after they were done with their travels. In the following several days, Ms. O had the relatives participate in demonstrations outside the Jeju Immigration Office, the CAG premises in Onsu and the Blue House.
On September 4, Jia Zhigang made a report to the police requesting to see his relative, and the police arranged for them to meet with his brother-in-law. When Jia asked him why he had come to South Korea and who arranged the trip, his brother-in-law intentionally changed the subject and would not give a straight answer. Jia showed him the “lost relative” documentation from the police, which said that his brother-in-law had made the following report to the police: Before Jia and his wife started believing in Almighty God they’d had a happy family, but afterwards, they fully devoted themselves to spreading the gospel abroad; their mother was ill and they hadn’t returned to take care of her, not to mention the future of their young son, and so on. His brother-in-law flatly denied all of it, saying that was what the organizers of the trip had said and was not what he thought. In fact, before Jia and his family came to South Korea his mother-in-law had already fallen ill and passed away, and Jia’s son is getting a very good education in Korea.
Apart from Jia Zhigang, there are eight more Christians whose family members have been coerced into going to South Korea to “seek for lost relatives.” They have shared their stories with the Austrian reporter Peter Zoehrer and have sworn the relevant affidavits which have legal effect.
(Note: Pseudonyms are used for Christians when their real name is unknown or when the safety of their families is a concern.)
1 new Regulations on Religious Affairs
2 Relevant Stakeholders’ Written Submissions on China to Human Rights Council’s UPR [Universal Periodic Review] of China (31st session of UPR Working Group)
3 Congressional-Executive Commission on China Annual Report 2018
4 Notification on Situation and Working Opinion Regarding Public Security Proscription of Shouters and other Xie Jiao Organizations issued by Central Committee and State Council in November 1995 (“Consolidated List” Notifications: 1995-50)
5 The Hainan Province Public Security Department Rolls Out Six Anti-Gang Campaigns (People’s Daily Online, Hainan Channel)
6 A document issued by the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau of Jiangxi Province
7 The Henan Province Office of the Leading Group for Prevention and Handling of Xie Jiao issued a document entitled Notice on Strengthening Coordination and Cooperation on the Campaign for a Full-force Crackdown on the ‘Almighty God’ Xie Jiao Organization
8 A document on special operations issued by the Liaoning Province 610 Officehttps://zh.bitterwinter.org/the-authorities-suppressing-religious-groups-again/
9 Statement of Responsibilities in the 2018 Special Operation Countering “Almighty God”
10 A report published by France’s RFI entitled Chinese Authorities Intensify Nationwide Arrests of Believers in Almighty God
11 A Dialogue report on harsh penalty imposed on five senior leaders of The Church of Almighty God including Ms. Bao Shuguang
12 Congressional-Executive Commission on China Annual Report 2018
13 EU Parliament: The Church of Almighty God Christians in worse position than Uyghur Muslims
16 The Church of Almighty God Hit Again in Jiangxi
17 New Organized Operation Against Believers in Almighty God
18 Almost 200 CAG Members Arrested in Anhui
19 New Pogrom Against The Church of Almighty God
23 China Illegally Monitors Abroad Cell Phones of Foreigners in Contact with The Church of Almighty God
24 “Cruel Killing, Brutal Killing, Kill the Beast”: Investigating the 2014 McDonald’s “Cult Murder” in Zhaoyuan
25 US Congress’ Lantos Commission Adopts CAG’s Mo Xiufeng as Prisoner of Conscience
26 Notification Concerning Central United Front Work Department’s Report on Two Urgent Policy Issues of Current Religious Work Forwarded by CCP Central Committee on October 21, 1978
28 An Open Letter to President Trump to Save Demei Zou
34 Judgment Published by China Judgements Online
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