2023 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God

February 7, 2024

Table of Contents

Note: The cover image depicts a true-to-life reconstruction of the persecution faced by CAG Christians. To ensure the safety and privacy of Christians and their families, pseudonyms are used in this report. Pseudonyms are marked with an asterisk (*) in the upper right corner for distinction.

1. Overview

The number of CAG members arrested and sentenced in China reached a record high in 2023

The year 2023 marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it was also a year of accelerated deterioration in the situation of religions and human rights in China under the rule of Xi Jinping. On September 1st, the State Administration for Religious Affairs of China issued the Administrative Measures for Religious Activity Venues. These regulations further strengthened the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) control over official religious venues, requiring them to indoctrinate their followers with CCP ideology. The CCP also continued to demolish churches[1] and mosques[2], and to label an increasing number of family churches as “cults[3]” and crack down on them. People in charge of family churches were arrested and sentenced on such charges as “illegal business[4]” and “fraud[5].” The CCP government also continued its genocidal policies against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. These policies constitute crimes against humanity[6]. Since the nationwide lifting of COVID-19 restrictions at the beginning of the year, the CCP has launched a nationwide “Zero CAG Member” campaign[7] against Christians of The Church of Almighty God (CAG). According to incomplete statistics, at least 12,463 CAG members were arrested in 2023, of whom 5,832 were subjected to various methods of torture or forced brainwashing, and at least 20 CAG Christians were persecuted to death; at least 2,207 members were sentenced to prison, of whom 1,094 were sentenced to three years or more, and 124 were sentenced to seven years or more. The longest known sentence in 2023 is twelve years and six months. These arrest and sentence figures have reached a record high since the CAG published its first annual report in 2017. Due to the CCP’s tight censorship and severe persecution, many have gone missing or lost contact with their families. More data is simply not available.

The Church of Almighty God has been subjected to the CCP’s brutal persecution and oppression since its establishment in 1991. In 1995, in order to “legalize” its repression, the CCP listed the CAG and several other Christian family churches, including the Shouters and the All Range Church, as “cults” and launched a large-scale campaign of repression and persecution. In 2000, the CCP ordered that The Church of Almighty God be “eliminated quietly.” After Xi Jinping came to power, the CCP went even further to promote the evil slogan of “not withdrawing until the day it is eradicated” against the CAG. Especially since the CCP government issued the revised Regulations on Religious Affairs in 2018[8], which comprehensively increased the persecution of religion, the number of arrests and sentences of CAG members has continued to rise. In 2023, the number of arrests was four times that of 2017, the number of the sentenced was 13 times that of 2017, and the number of church members harshly sentenced to seven years or more was 9.5 times that of 2017. Since the establishment of the Church, 258 CAG Christians have been persecuted to death. According to incomplete statistics, from 2011 to 2023, nearly 460,000 CAG Christians have been arrested by the CCP authorities. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg of the real situation of the CCP’s persecution of CAG Christians.

Since the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) began issuing its annual religious freedom report[9] in 1999, China has for 24 consecutive years been recommended for inclusion as a “Country of Particular Concern[10]” for its most severe violations of religious freedom. On May 1st, 2023, Abraham Cooper[11], vice chairman of the USCIRF, said at the annual report launch: “USCIRF continues to be extremely alarmed by the Chinese Communist governments repression of religious freedom both within and outside China. As the report documents, China persisted in its genocide against Uyghur Muslims, subjugating and subjecting them to detention, forced labor, political indoctrination, mass surveillance, intrusive government homestays, and forced interfaith marriages, birth control, sterilization and abortion. China also severely restricted religious freedom for Tibetan Buddhists as well as members of Christian communities, Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God.”

2. Summary of the Nature of the CCP’s Persecution

(1) The CCP has used methods including surveillance and wiretapping to arrest at least 12,463 CAG Christians

Despite the severity of the pandemic, the number of arrests of CAG members has continued to rise since 2019. In particular, since September 2020, when the CCP launched a three-year “Final Solution[12] to “completely destroy” the CAG, the number of arrests of CAG Christians has exceeded 10,000 per year for three consecutive years.

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

According to its internal documents, the CCP has ordered the “full-scale roundups” of CAG leaders and co-workers in 2023. The CCP aims to “strike at the backbone, dismantle the structure, investigate the church and sweep away the believers.” Under this high-pressure policy, unified roundups have been launched across the country. During the past years, the CCP has taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to vigorously develop a nationwide network of camera surveillance, enabling zero blind spots in both urban and rural areas. By using facial recognition and other big data technologies, the CCP has taken comprehensive control over personal information, turning China into an unprecedented digital national prison. This has created conditions for the CCP to conduct long-term surveillance and mass arrests of CAG Christians. The CCP uses the Skynet surveillance system, phone wiretapping, drone tracking and photography, electric bicycle tracking devices, and cameras installed near homes to track and secretly film CAG Christians. Wherever they go and whoever they come into contact with, CAG Christians become targets of CCP surveillance. A government insider said, “Now, we use networks to track the believers of Almighty God, and then track all their fellow church members who have contact with them. We just follow the clues and gradually expand the scope of tracking, and arrest them in batches.”

The following is a partial overview of the CCP’s unified crackdowns on CAG Christians in 2023:

In Zhejiang Province, a single day on June 15th saw the arrest of 1,043 church members[13]. Police claimed that they had been monitoring and tracking them for two years using the Skynet Project and electric bike trackers. In Zhejiang Province’s Huzhou City, a CAG Christian was reported, and 96 others were subsequently surveilled and arrested over a period of five months.

At least 3,374 CAG members were arrested in Anhui Province in 2023. Among them, the oldest was 78 years old and the youngest was 16.

At least 1,814 CAG Christians were arrested[14] in Jiangsu Province in 2023. In June, at least 150 were arrested in Xuzhou City. On May 16th alone, police in Xuyi County of Huai’an City arrested at least 54 CAG Christians. In July, 109 more CAG church members were arrested in Huai’an City.

In 2023, at least 1,209 CAG Christians were arrested in Shandong Province. Of these, at least 191 were arrested in Qingdao City, and 89 were arrested in Jinan City on August 1st alone.

In Sichuan Province, from March 16th to 31st, 152 CAG Christians were arrested in the cities of Guang’an, Nanchong, and Dazhou. From May 9th to 11th, 141 CAG Christians were arrested in the five cities of Chengdu, Meishan, Emeishan, Ya’an, and Deyang. On November 7th, 52 church members were arrested in the four cities of Suining, Mianyang, Zigong, and Luzhou.

On August 26th, more than 170 CAG Christians were arrested in four counties of Nanyang City in Henan Province, including an elderly believer in his 80s and 10 more believers in their 70s.

Table 1: Number of CAG Members Arrested and Sentenced in Different Provinces in 2023

Province / Municipality / Aut. Region Arrested Sentenced Sentenced to 3+ Years (Including 7+ Years) Sentenced to 7+ Years Tortured and Brainwashed
Total 12,463 2,207 1,094 124 5,832
Beijing 31 47 25 0 1
Tianjin 10 38 22 0 22
Hebei 75 21 11 0 28
Shanxi 294 39 2 2 159
Inner Mongolia 25 32 21 2 14
Liaoning 292 4 1 0 16
Jilin 156 144 34 1 118
Heilongjiang 45 24 4 0 9
Shanghai 29 0 0 0 2
Jiangsu 1,814 125 55 6 878
Anhui 3,374 171 78 5 2,142
Zhejiang 1,230 55 34 6 440
Fujian 153 6 3 0 62
Jiangxi 255 59 35 2 132
Shandong 1,209 275 90 15 499
Henan 953 177 89 5 414
Hubei 216 75 28 4 4
Hunan 57 13 7 0 8
Guangdong 773 397 281 49 341
Guangxi 351 35 26 7 103
Hainan 2 2 2 0 0
Chongqing 94 27 12 0 51
Sichuan 501 145 51 10 150
Guizhou 91 37 12 1 23
Yunnan 167 156 92 3 6
Shaanxi 129 30 25 3 57
Gansu 106 49 34 0 94
Qinghai 10 12 8 0 31
Ningxia 21 12 12 3 28
Xinjiang data unavailable data unavailable data unavailable data unavailable data unavailable

(2) The number of CAG members sentenced to jail reached its highest level since data collection began

In 2023, at least 2,207 CAG Christians were sentenced to prison, the highest number since statistics have been kept. Of those sentenced, 1,094, or 49%, were sentenced to three years or more. Among them, 124 were sentenced to seven years or more, with the longest sentence being 12 years and six months. Among those sentenced, the youngest was only 16, and the oldest was 84. Guangdong Province had the highest proportion of harsh sentences, with 70% of those sentenced receiving three years or more, and 12% receiving seven years or more. Due to the CCP’s increased efforts to conceal the sentencing against CAG Christians, trials are held without notifying the families of those sentenced, with no verdicts issued. In Xinjiang and other areas where persecution is severe, it is very difficult to complete and verify the data. Therefore, the actual number of the sentenced CAG members could be even higher.

It is important to note that 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. Two local church leaders from Sichuan Province, Zhou Jie and Xiong Yan, were sentenced to 10 years in prison. A 77-year-old female believer named Wu Xiuzhi from Henan Province was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for simply receiving others for gatherings. A lay believer named Liu Yi from Zhejiang Province was also sentenced to eight years and three months. 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)

In 2023, CAG Christians were subjected to collective sentencing in multiple locations.

On January 5th, the Dongguan City Court in Guangdong Province sentenced 11 CAG Christians, including four church leaders, two of whom were sentenced to 10 years in prison, two to nine years in prison, and five to five years in prison.

On April 17th and 27th, the Qujing City Court and the Honghe Prefecture Court in Yunnan Province, respectively sentenced 38 CAG Christians to prison on charges of “organizing and using a cult organization to undermine the enforcement of the law.” Among them, the oldest was 81 and the youngest was 19. Nine of them were sentenced to five years or more in prison.

On June 20th, the Qixia City Court in Shandong Province sentenced six CAG members to seven years or more in prison. One of them was sentenced to seven years in prison with a fine of RMB 30,000 (USD 4,478) for simply distributing information for the Church.

On July 25th, the Yangchun City Court in Guangdong Province sentenced seven CAG Christians to nine years in prison with a fine of RMB 90,000 (USD 13,388) each. On August 24th, the Yiwu City Court in Zhejiang Province gave 11 CAG members harsh sentences. Three of them were sentenced to seven years in prison with a fine of RMB 70,000 (USD 10,321) each; another three were sentenced to six years and six months in prison with a fine of RMB 60,000 (USD 8,847) each; and another four were sentenced to more than three years in prison.

On August 30th, the Taizhou City Court in Zhejiang Province gave heavy jail terms to 14 CAG members. Two local church leaders were sentenced to nine years and seven years and six months respectively. A lay believer was also sentenced to eight years and three months, and six others were sentenced to more than three years in prison.

On October 24th, 30 CAG members in Beijing were sentenced to prison after the police put them under arrest and ransacked their houses. Of these, 15 were sentenced to three to six and a half years in prison. The 30 included 19 CAG Christians over 60 years old, and two at the age of 82 and 84 respectively.

On November 17th, the Qingjiangpu District Court in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, sentenced 21 CAG Christians to prison. Of them, 10 were sentenced to three to seven years.

On December 12th, 30 CAG Christians in Jiangxi Province’s Yichun City were sentenced to prison. Two were sentenced to seven years; another two were sentenced to six years; and 21 others were sentenced to more than three years.

On December 22nd, four CAG leaders in Sichuan Province’s Chengdu City were sentenced to prison. Two were sentenced to 10 years, and the other two were sentenced to five years.

(3) Torture, brainwashing, and abuse have resulted in at least 20 deaths

In a similar pattern to the education transformation camps targeting Uyghurs, the CCP is aggressively pushing CAG Christians to renounce their belief. They tie the “percentage of transformation” to political achievements, resulting in a surge in the number of CAG Christians who have been subjected to torture and brainwashing. To force them to sell out church information, sign the “Three Statements” to blaspheme God, and renounce their belief, the CCP police use torture such as “Exhausting an Eagle” (sleep deprivation), suspending with wrists handcuffed, electric shock, and beatings. Some CAG members have been forced to stand or sit on plastic stools as punishment for up to 19-21 hours a day, and have also been subjected to force feeding of unknown drugs, and even forced to eat feces. Many more have also been coerced into filming confession videos.

Even during their jail terms, CAG Christians endure more severe abuse compared to other inmates. In order to fulfill the quotas of transformation, prisons subject CAG Christians who refuse to sign the “Three Statements” to renounce their faith to harsher mistreatment. They also implement a system of collective punishment within the same cell, fostering resentment among inmates towards CAG Christians. More physical harm and mental stress are inflicted upon CAG Christians by fellow prisoners.

Here is a partial overview of the torture and brainwashing[15] suffered by CAG Christians in 2023:

Out of 3,374 arrested CAG Christians in Anhui Province, 2,142 were subjected to torture and brainwashing. The police subjected those who refused to renounce their belief to prolonged beatings, verbal abuse, forced standing, and sleep deprivation. One CAG Christian, unable to endure the torture, attempted suicide by jumping off a building, resulting in disability. Another CAG Christian suffering from lumbar disc herniation became unable to take care of herself due to prolonged standing as a punishment.

In Jiangsu Province, out of 1,814 arrested CAG Christians, at least 878 were subjected to torture and brainwashing. One CAG Christian, after escaping, died after being forced to jump off a building from the 9th floor. Another CAG Christian under 18 was beaten by the police, with wrists handcuffed behind her back, suspended in the air by a wooden stick, mouth sealed with transparent tape, a lit cigarette inserted into her nose, and then dangled from the hanging handcuffs attached to the window.

In Zhejiang Province, 440 CAG Christians were arrested and subjected to secret brainwashing and abuse. Even some in their 70s were not spared, being forced to sit on small stools for long periods of time, deprived of sleep, and given insufficient food. Some were tortured to the point of mental confusion and memory loss, and some passed out. A 63-year-old Christian died during his custody period at a transformation center. The police claimed that it was a suicide.

On July 20th, 48 CAG Christians were arrested in Hukou County, Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province. In the transformation center, multiple of them were subjected to “Exhausting an Eagle,” torture by sleep deprivation, some for as long as eight days and others for 10 days and nights without sleep. One of them went 40 days without sleeping in a bed, another passed out, another broke her arm after being unable to keep her balance while standing for long periods of time, and another was beaten and then shocked with electricity more than 90 times, causing serious internal injuries, and she is unable to lift heavy objects to this day.

Table 2: Brief Information of CAG Christians Persecuted to Death in 2023

No. Name Sex Age Native Place Date of Arrest Date of Death Circumstances of Death
1 Li Min* F 60 N/A N/A Jul 15, 2023 Li Min* was rushed to the hospital during her jail term, but the hospital authorities refused to show her family medical records, and they saw that she was skeletal, with black scars on her wrists. She whispered to her family that the police had tortured her to extract a confession, and that they would kill her in the hospital if she refused to confess. Later, the police prevented her family from approaching her closely. On July 15th, Li Min passed away. Despite the fact that she had no prior history of heart disease, the doctor cited cardiogenic shock as the cause of death.
2 Wen Jing* F 63 Zhejiang Jun 15, 2023 Jun 21, 2023 Wen Jing* died during her custody time at a transformation center. The police claimed that she had committed suicide, but the surveillance footage had obviously been edited and did not show the process that led to her death.
3 Wang ZhiKuan* M 75 Henan Mar 2, 2023 Nov 15, 2023 The family of Wang Zhikuan* had been denied visitation since he was arrested, sentenced and imprisoned. He was completely out of touch, and his family was only notified by the prison authorities of his death. The authorities claimed that he had died of a heart attack. His remains appeared emaciated, and his collarbones were protruding.
4 Liu Xiuzhi* F 52 Shandong N/A Sep 17, 2023 Liu Xiuzhi*, wanted by the police with a bounty for her belief, was afraid to go to the hospital for treatment several times when she was seriously ill. Her condition kept deteriorating and she eventually died.
5 Li Hui* F 54 Shandong Jun 9, 2022 Jun 2, 2023 Li Hui* had been in a coma in ICU six months after she was held in a detention center. Surveillance videos showed that the police delayed her treatment until the optimal time for her to receive treatment had passed. She died of heart failure four months after her coma. Her family was not allowed to visit her in the ward.
6 Liu Yun* F 51 Sichuan Feb 15, 2021 Jan 19, 2023 Liu Yun* was detained at a brainwashing facility and within days began exhibiting signs of severe mental distress. After six months of confinement, her family received notice that she was critically ill. On July 6th, 2021, she was diagnosed with advanced malnutrition and kidney dysfunction. Just over a month later, on August 27th, she was rushed to the hospital unconscious, with blood streaming from her mouth and two teeth inexplicably missing. Family visitation was abruptly cut off after July 13th, 2022, and six months later, Liu Yun’s family was informed of her death.
7 Xia Jie* F 52 Jiangsu Jun 25, 2023 Jul 13, 2023 Xia Jie* was wanted by the CCP for her faith in God and was secretly held in an underground transformation center. After trying to escape, she was chased to the rooftop of a nine-story building. She died tragically after jumping off the building.
8 Zhao Qin* F 56 Guizhou Aug 14, 2023 Nov 19, 2023 Zhao Qin* died after being held in a transformation center for over three months. The police claimed that she had committed suicide.
9 Xiao Shi* F 49 Hunan Dec 13, 2018 Sep 26, 2023 Xiao Shi* was tortured to make a confession, forced to sleep on a wet floor next to the toilet in the cell at night for nearly a year, and was later diagnosed with liver cancer. She was then sentenced to eight years and three months in prison. After becoming critically ill, she was allowed to return home for recovery, but was taken back into custody when her condition began to improve. Despite multiple life-threatening situations during her three years in prison, her family was not permitted to take her home for medical treatment. She fell critically ill again and passed away only three months after returning home again.

(4) CAG Christians in Xinjiang have been subjected to harsh sentences, abuse, and many have gone missing

Since the establishment of the re-education camps in Xinjiang and the implementation of the genocide policy against Uyghurs, the situation of religions and human rights in Xinjiang has deteriorated sharply. CAG Christians have been listed as national security threats along with Uyghurs and strictly confined in prisons, re-education camps, and drug rehabilitation centers. Some CAG Christians have been detained in psychiatric hospitals for nearly five years for refusing to sign statements renouncing their faith in God.

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 Christians sentenced during the past years and remaining in custody in 2023, 17 were sentenced to 10 years or more, including two with 15-year sentences, and 73 were sentenced to five years or more, with an average sentence of seven years. A released Christian said that detained Christians are commonly subjected to torture and abuse. Among the CAG Christians detained with her, three were left disabled after being tortured and one was tortured to death.

(5) Depriving CAG Christians and their families of basic human rights to eliminate all of their means of survival

To force Christians to abandon their faith completely, the CCP adopts various means to comprehensively eliminate Christians’ means of survival. The authorities not only use various surveillance methods to prevent Christians from participating in religious activities, but also deny Christians and their families the right to employment, education for their children, basic living allowances, refusing to issue them any official documents, and banning them from leaving the country. The CCP uses collective punishment[16] like violence and confinement against Christians’ families to apply pressure on them. This is leading to a situation where Christians and their families are unable to normally live, work, get married, have children, seek medical care, or travel. This all-round persecution subjects Christians to enormous psychological pressure, and some have even committed suicide.

In Henan Province, the husband of a CAG Christian couple was sentenced to prison, his wife was detained, and their non-believing daughter was fired from her job. Their son, who was a PhD student, had his scholarship revoked and was unable to pass the political review, making it impossible for him to find employment or pursue further studies abroad.

A CAG Christian who applied for a visa to Russia was pursued by the CCP police. The authorities claimed he had ties to a terrorist organization in Xinjiang, alleging that his trip to Russia was for training purposes, with plans to return and organize terrorist activities. They demanded his parents to appear on television and issue an open letter, so as to urge him to return home. His wife, daughter, and elderly parents could not bear the frequent harassment and surveillance by the Chinese authorities, so they were forced to live on the run, leaving his young daughter unable to continue her education. Even friends helping his parents collect wages were pursued, and his nephew, who wanted to work abroad, was forbidden from leaving the country.

A CAG Christian in Sichuan Province was stripped of his veteran benefits, disability compensation, and injury allowance because of his faith. The total amount of money he lost over the years is more than RMB 500,000 (USD 73,746). The police frequently visited his home to harass him, and his wife could not bear the pressure and was forced to divorce him.

A 74-year-old CAG Christian in Zhejiang Province was arrested, and the police confiscated her personal assets of over RMB 195,000 (USD 27,767), as well as other items worth thousands of RMB. Because she refused to divulge church information, the police threatened her children to cut off their electricity and water, seal their homes, and exclude any future generation of the family from civil service exams, college entrance exams, or recruitment to the army. This led to her children attacking her. She lost her life savings, her source of income, and was attacked by her own children, which caused her to suffer greatly.

A CAG Christian in Hebei Province is currently being hunted by the police. Her daughter was denied a new ID card, and without an ID card, she is unable to obtain a marriage certificate or apply for a birth permit, ultimately leaving her no choice other than to abort her unborn child.

In Henan Province, a CAG Christian couple have had to flee their home due to their faith. Their children, daughter-in-law, a younger sister, and cousin were all arrested and interrogated. The youngest daughter and eldest son-in-law were detained for over 40 days, during which time they were tortured. The police even threatened their grandkids with handcuffs, saying, “If you don’t tell us where your grandparents are, we’ll put you in handcuffs!” Teachers at their schools were also pressured, warning the kids that if they did not tell the truth, they would not be allowed to attend school.

A CAG Christian fled to a foreign country, and as a result, the police arrested his wife and daughter. His wife was detained for a month before being released. The police threatened that if he returned to China, he would be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

3. Conclusion

In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx wrote: “Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality….” The atheistic CCP has followed this creed since its founding, brutally suppressing and persecuting religious beliefs. It is extremely hostile to God’s work, to Christ who expresses the truth, and to all those who follow Christ. Since the appearance and work of Almighty God, Christ of the last days, in 1991, who has expressed all truths to cleanse and save humanity, more and more people have been drawn to the words of Almighty God, and the kingdom gospel has rapidly spread. This has made the CCP authoritarian regime feel extreme fear and hatred. The CCP treats unarmed Christians as political prisoners and state criminals. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, frequent disasters, and people’s suffering across the country, the CCP remains indifferent to the life and death of its people, intensifying its efforts to hunt down CAG Christians. Under the CCP’s rule, the entire country is under multiple layers of surveillance and supervision, making it impossible for CAG Christians to engage in normal religious activities. They are forced to flee from place to place, with nowhere to hide or live, making survival even more difficult. Even fleeing overseas does not shield them from the CCP’s pursuit as they face the risk of being extradited back to China. Faced with the CCP, a totalitarian dictatorship that is determined to eliminate Christians, CAG members have no choice but to risk their lives to bring to light the truth of how they have been persecuted and related data and information, hoping to get help from the international community and human rights organizations.

Annex: Selected Typical Cases in 2023

(1) CAG Christians Persecuted to Death (3 Selected Cases)

Li Min*, a female CAG member, was sentenced and imprisoned for her belief. On July 8th, 2023, she was suddenly rushed to the hospital according to one of her family members who received a phone call from the prison guard. When her family arrived at the hospital, they saw that Li Min was on a ventilator with tubes inserted into her body. She was emaciated and skeletal. When her family asked for her medical records, the doctor refused to show them. As they were feeding Li Min, her family heard her say in a weak voice, “The police are trying to kill me. They want to force me to confess, and if I don’t confess, they’ll kill me in the hospital.” Li Min’s family spotted black scars on her wrists, visible above the edge of her sleeves, but the proximity of police surveillance made them hesitant to inquire further or examine the rest of her body. On July 10th, during another permitted visit, they found Li Min unable to speak, and the police prevented them from approaching her closely. On July 15th, the police informed the family that Li Min had died. They were only allowed to have a brief, distant view of her remains before the cremation. While the hospital cited cardiogenic shock as the cause of death, her family disputed this claim. They stated that Li Min had always been in good health, with no prior hospitalizations or history of heart disease. Despite their desire to hold the prison accountable, no lawyer dared to take her case.

Xia Jie*, a female CAG leader in Jiangsu Province born in October 1971, became a fugitive of the CCP due to her faith. In June 2023, local police launched a coordinated operation, detaining 141 Christians, including Xia Jie. The detainees were held in a hotel basement for covert interrogations, where some CAG Christians were subjected to torture methods like forcing their legs apart, giving them electric shocks, and suspending them in the air with their wrists handcuffed. At around 11 p.m. on July 12th, Xia Jie managed to escape from the hotel unnoticed. That night, the police convened an emergency meeting and combed through all surrounding surveillance footage to track her whereabouts. On the morning of July 13th, the police pinpointed Xia Jie’s location in a residential area. They dispatched multiple plainclothes police officers to enter the area. Upon locating Xia Jie, they forced her to the rooftop of a nine-storey building. She died after jumping off the building. Afterwards, the police imposed a news blackout, restricting access to the scene and prohibiting photography.

Liu Xiuzhi* was a female CAG Christian from Shandong Province. The police offered a bounty for her capture because of her belief. Police inquiries regarding her whereabouts extended to the homes of her relatives, neighbors, and colleagues. The police vowed not to stop until she was apprehended. Liu Xiuzhi suffered from heart disease, metrorrhagia, and stomach ailments. Due to her wanted status, she dared not go to the hospital and could only resort to self-treatment using traditional remedies. From May to December 2022, Liu’s condition worsened significantly due to prolonged uterine bleeding and her vision rapidly deteriorated. Medication was ineffective, and she wanted to seek hospital treatment. However, hospital registration requires an ID card, and even small clinics require registration, presentation of a health code, and surveillance cameras are ubiquitous. During the pandemic lockdown, police checks were everywhere, so Liu Xiuzhi had to give up on seeking medical care. In August 2023, she could no longer eat and could only drink water. She passed away on September 17th at the age of 52.

(2) CAG Christians Subjected to Torture (5 Selected Cases)

Zhang Heng*, a male CAG Christian from Shandong Province, was arrested on September 15th, 2023, due to his faith and taken to the local police station. The police handcuffed him behind his back, with one arm pulled over his shoulder, and the other twisted from below. They forcefully put a metal tea box between his arm and body, causing him excruciating pain, as if his arms were about to break, and he struggled to breathe. When the handcuffs were removed, the tea box had been squashed. Subsequently, several police officers took turns beating and electrocuting him day and night, forbidding him to sleep. They put a helmet on his head and beat it with sticks. After torturing him, the police pressed him to the ground, continued handcuffing him behind his back, with one arm pulled over his shoulder, and the other twisted from below, and forcefully lifted his arms. The handcuffs cut into his flesh, causing him to scream and struggle, and his knees were scraped raw and bled profusely. The police also beat his toes with a square wooden stick, continuously struck his head, and forced him to kneel on iron blocks until his legs went numb. The police repeated this torture, stopping only when they were trembling and soaked in sweat. They also sprayed pepper spray into Zhang Heng’s eyes. The torture almost broke Zhang Heng multiple times. His face was swollen, a lot of his hair had been pulled out, his ankles turned black from the beatings, and his legs, beaten with a rubber stick, turned black and purple, rendering him unable to walk. More than a month after his release, Zhang Heng still felt numbness in his fingers and trembled uncontrollably in his sleep.

Yang Hua*, a female CAG Christian from Hebei Province, endured severe hardship during her imprisonment for refusing to renounce her faith and sign the “Three Statements.” The prison guards withheld her food, sometimes not giving her a bite to eat for three days, and forced her to stand for 16 hours a day for about 40 days, causing her feet to swell so severely that she could no longer wear socks. Subsequently, the guards continued to torture her for over two months by ordering her to stand with a piece of white paper clamped between her lower legs and under her arms, ranging from half a day to 12 hours daily. In March 2022, she was dealt with harshly again for refusing to write “there is no God” in her thought reports. She was forced to work for 12 to 13 hours daily while standing and to be on duty for two and a half to four and a half hours at night. Her bedding was confiscated, she was forbidden from washing, and her daily necessities and food were withheld. She was only given a quarter of a bun and half a cup of water (300ml) per meal. The guards also incited other prisoners to beat her daily, demanding information about her faith. Her inmates brutally slapped her face with slippers, kicked the insides of her thighs after taking a run-up, and kneed her private parts, causing her to scream in agony and feel like she was about to suffocate. As a result, her legs turned deep purple-black like eggplants, and the left side of her private parts still hurts to this day. Her inmates also forcefully stuffed a toilet-cleaning towel into her throat and punched her until her mouth bled. The prolonged torture triggered Yang Hua’s coronary heart disease, and she was left gasping for breath with no one to care for her. The extended torment made her feel living was worse than dying. Her body became extremely weak, with very low blood pressure (80mmHg systolic and 50mmHg diastolic). Her hands cramped while working, and she once fainted on the workbench. When released in June 2023, Yang Hua was so emaciated that her bones were protruding. She could not straighten her back, and the doctor told her, “Your liver and stomach are failing, and your heart and spleen are also in poor condition. All your internal organs are damaged; you’re too weak.”

Li Rui*, a female CAG Christian from Jiangxi Province, was subjected to brutal torture during her detention. The police hit her temples over 100 times with a bottle of mineral water and kicked her calves forcefully. She had previously suffered from heart disease and was subjected to the sleep deprivation torture “Exhausting an Eagle” while being interrogated on a tiger bench for five days and six nights, causing her to faint twice and experience severe swelling. The detention center’s director, fearing she might die in jail, was reluctant to take her in. Later, Li Rui was sentenced to five years in prison. To coerce her to sign the “Three Statements” renouncing her faith, the prison authorities punished her by making her maintain the horse stance during the day and perform rapid squats 150 times at night. When Li Rui collapsed and could not get up, an instructor beat her, stamped on her toes, and then restarted the count, followed by standing punishment until 2 a.m. This routine of daytime squatting and nighttime standing, 19 hours a day, continued for a week, causing all her toenails to turn black and rot. Li Rui was also deprived of food, and she became extremely weak. Later, despite being able only to crawl up the stairs, her labor tasks were doubled. The prison doctor diagnosed Li Rui with serious health complications, including cerebral blood vessel issues, heart and liver problems, and hyperthyroidism. After being hospitalized, she required continuous oxygen for two weeks and was only able to eat a little 50 days after her hospitalization. In March 2023, Li Rui started developing painful, bleeding sores that covered her body, depriving her of sleep. The prison guards denied her access to medical care. When she was released six months later, her family saw her body covered in sores and blood and could not help but cry. They immediately took her to the hospital for treatment.

Chen Zhuo*, a female CAG Christian from Henan Province, was arrested by the police on August 25th, 2023. After being handcuffed and shackled, she was taken to a hotel for interrogation. During the interrogation, several police officers disregarded that Chen Zhuo was 78 years old, yanked her hair, slapped her face violently and repeatedly with a rubber belt over a foot long and rolled-up cowhide paper bags. They took turns to assault her for over an hour. The elderly Chen Zhuo’s ears buzzed from the beating, and she struggled to breathe. The police then electrocuted her. Each shock made her feel as if her heart and every tendon in her body were contracting together. They forcibly poured pepper water into her mouth, then stifled her with a towel, forcing her to swallow the pepper water. Overcome by pain, Chen Zhuo collapsed on the floor. The police dragged her to the bathroom, doused her with cold water from head to toe, tore her collar open to pour cold water inside, then hot water, repeating this for over half an hour. Soaked through, Chen Zhuo was then forced to stand under an air conditioner that blew cold air onto her all night. As a result, she shivered constantly. The next day, the police repeated the same torture and did not allow her to use the restroom. After the torture, the handcuffs had cut so deeply into her flesh that they had to remove them with cutting tools. The elderly woman’s face was swollen and blackened. It took the black scars about one and a half months to disappear, and the electrocution scars on her legs more than twenty days to fade. To this day, she still suffers from pain in her ribs and wrists.

Zhang Zhigang*, a male CAG Christian from Henan Province, was subjected to torture during his interrogation in custody. The police brutally slapped him in the face and punched the areas around his ears, causing him to feel as if his ears had burst open. His head was ringing, and he was momentarily blinded, his vision only returning after about four or five seconds. They then pinned him down and forcibly forced his legs apart, which made him scream in pain as he felt like his pelvis were torn apart. The police also alternated putting thick markers between his fingers and then grasping them hard, causing excruciating pain as if his fingers were shattering. For the following days, the police continued to clamp his fingers with markers and forcibly forced his legs apart daily. Each time, he passed out from the pain, only to wake up and endure more of the same. After several days of such torture, the unbearable pain made him feel that living was worse than dying; his hands were so swollen that his palm lines were no longer visible, and he completely lost sensation in them. His groin was injured from his legs being forced apart, leaving him unable to stand or walk. Seeing that he still did not renounce his faith, the police punched his face and jaw, knocking out one of his molars and dislocating his jaw. He was finally released in October 2023. Now, even when he does simple household chores, he has to hold onto objects for support to stand up due to the pain in the lower back.

(3) CAG Christians Harshly Sentenced and Held in Custody (100 Selected Cases)

Table 3: Brief Information of CAG Christians Sentenced to 7 Years or More in 2023

No. Name Sex Year of Birth Date of Sentencing Place of Sentencing Prison Term
1 Li Lijuan* F unknown Dec 4, 2023 Mianyang, Sichuan 12 years and 6 months
2 Zhou Jie* F 1971 Dec 22, 2023 Chengdu, Sichuan 10 years
3 Xiong Yan* F 1972 Dec 22, 2023 Chengdu, Sichuan 10 years
4 Yi Lin* F 1982 Jul 11, 2023 Foshan, Guangdong 10 years
5 Huang Rui* F 1984 Mar 21, 2023 Foshan, Guangdong 10 years
6 Zhen Ni* F 1997 Mar 21, 2023 Foshan, Guangdong 10 years
7 Chen Xiaomo* F 1986 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 10 years
8 Li Xin* F 1963 Aug 28, 2023 Guilin, Guangxi 9 years and 10 months
9 Liu Ze* M 1979 Dec 26, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 9 years and 6 months
10 Xiaohai* M 1984 Aug 30, 2023 Taizhou, Zhejiang 9 years
11 Li Cong* F 1987 Dec 28, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 9 years
12 Donghai* M 1975 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 9 years
13 Yue Ming* F 1974 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 9 years
14 Zheng Yingchun* F 1972 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 9 years
15 Chen Xi* F 1967 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 9 years
16 Yi Xin* F 1975 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 9 years
17 Chen Yi* F 1968 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 9 years
18 He Xiu* F 1978 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 9 years
19 Xu Xinyuan* F 1970 Sep 7, 2023 Chengdu, Sichuan 9 years
20 Guo Lin* F 1983 Oct 30, 2023 Mianyang, Sichuan 9 years
21 Song Jie* F 1977 Feb 24, 2023 Zhoukou, Henan 9 years
22 Liu Qiang* M 1982 Feb 2, 2023 Fuyang, Anhui 9 years
23 He Hua* F 1970 Aug 29, 2023 Guilin, Guangxi. 8 years and 7 months
24 Liu Yi* F 1987 Aug 30, 2023 Taizhou, Zhejiang 8 years and 3 months
25 Zhou Lin* F unknown Apr 6, 2023 Guigang, Guangxi 8 years
26 Wen Feng* M 1980 Sep 15, 2023 Zhongshan, Guangdong 8 years
27 Luo Yun* F 1968 Mar 20, 2023 Shaoguan, Guangdong 8 years
28 Zhang Xing* F 1972 Mar, 2023 Lechang, Guangdong 8 years
29 Zhao Mingzhu* F 1968 Dec 21, 2023 Wuxue, Hubei 8 years
30 Fang Simin* F 1987 Dec 21, 2023 Wuxue, Hubei 8 years
31 Wang Nan* F 1960 2023 Changzhi, Shanxi 8 years
32 Qi Na* F 1979 May 24, 2023 Rizhao, Shandong 8 years
33 Yang Lu* F 1966 Feb 24, 2023 Zhoukou, Henan 8 years
34 Li Chuan* M 1963 Jan, 2023 Luzhou, Sichuan 8 years
35 Zheng Yi* F 1994 2023 Mianyang, Sichuan 8 years
36 Sun Xiuyun* F 1984 Jul 24, 2023 Bozhou, Anhui 7 years and 9 months
37 Wu Wen* F 1992 Dec 28, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years and 9 months
38 Zhang Yixin* F 1988 Mar, 2023 Lechang, Guangdong 7 years and 9 months
39 Wu Lin* F 1977 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 7 years and 9 months
40 Wang Huanhao* F 1967 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 7 years and 8 months
41 Liu Shun* M 1964 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 7 years and 7 months
42 Luo Xiaohui* F 1984 Jul 25, 2023 Yangchun, Guangdong 7 years and 6 months
43 Pan Jiao* F 1970 Mar 20, 2023 Shaoguan, Guangdong 7 years and 6 months
44 Huang Shu* F unknown Mar, 2023 Lechang, Guangdong 7 years and 6 months
45 Xiang Ming* F 1964 Nov 30, 2023 Lechang, Guangdong 7 years and 6 months
46 Zhang Liang* M 1985 May 24, 2023 Lechang, Guangdong 7 years and 6 months
47 Wu Xiuzhi* F 1946 Apr 28, 2023 Zhoukou, Henan 7 years and 6 months
48 Cui Yang* M 1985 Jul 24, 2023 Bozhou, Anhui 7 years and 6 months
49 Xiao Min* F unknown May, 2023 Xuzhou, Jiangsu 7 years and 6 months
50 Lin Hua* F 1975 Aug 30, 2023 Taizhou, Zhejiang 7 years and 6 months
51 Zhang Yu* F unknown Dec 25, 2023 Siping, Jilin 7 years and 6 months
52 Li Xiangxiang* F 1966 Jun 25, 2023 Guilin, Guangxi 7 years and 6 months
53 Zhang Ying* F 1990 Jul 10, 2023 Zhongwei, Ningxia 7 years and 6 months
54 Feng Qianjin* M 1961 Jul 10, 2023 Zhongwei, Ningxia 7 years and 4 months
55 Li Xun* F unknown Dec 26, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years and 4 months
56 Yi Ran* F 1978 Dec 26, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years and 4 months
57 Qi Mu* F 1983 Dec 26, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years and 3 months
58 Li Qin* F unknown Dec 26, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years and 3 months
59 Yu Chen* F 1966 Jun 20, 2023 Qixia, Shandong 7 years and 2 months
60 Yang Yi* F 1973 Jun 20, 2023 Qixia, Shandong 7 years and 2 months
61 Ye Tong* F 1970 Jun 20, 2023 Qixia, Shandong 7 years and 2 months
62 Ma Yue* F 1970 Jul 10, 2023 Zhongwei, Ningxia 7 years and 2 months
63 Baozhen* F 1982 Dec 27, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years
64 Ma Xiao* M 1977 Dec 27, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years
65 Zhang Xiaoxi* F 1987 Aug 30, 2023 Guangzhou, Guangdong 7 years
66 Deng Qin* F 1986 Sep 28, 2023 Yingde, Guangdong 7 years
67 Wang Fen* F 1964 Sep 28, 2023 Yingde, Guangdong 7 years
68 Wang Lidan* F 1965 Nov 30, 2023 Lechang, Guangdong 7 years
69 Qiu Gang* M 1990 Mar 23, 2023 Dezhou, Shandong 7 years
70 Yang Xinyi* F 1988 Mar 23, 2023 Dezhou, Shandong 7 years
71 Wang Xinxia* F 1975 Jun 8, 2023 Dezhou, Shandong 7 years
72 Xie Lifang* F 1991 Jun 8, 2023 Dezhou, Shandong 7 years
73 Yu Jinxin* F 1983 Jun 20, 2023 Qixia, Shandong 7 years
74 Guan Xin* F 1966 Jun 20, 2023 Qixia, Shandong 7 years
75 Chen Yu* F 1993 Jun 20, 2023 Qixia, Shandong 7 years
76 Li Mi* F 1961 May 24, 2023 Rizhao, Shandong 7 years
77 Wei Li* F 1965 Jun 27, 2023 Rizhao, Shandong 7 years
78 Zhao Xia* F 1957 Feb 16, 2023 Jinan, Shandong 7 years
79 Su Rui* F 1970 Aug 11, 2023 Qingdao, Shandong 7 years
80 Wang Xu* F 1977 May 12, 2023 Yancheng, Jiangsu 7 years
81 Jiang Dongyu* F 1967 Nov, 2023 Taizhou, Jiangsu 7 years
82 Zhang Jianing* F 1966 Nov 25, 2023 Huai'an, Jiangsu 7 years
83 Ma Taozhen* F 1953 Feb 15, 2023 Honghe Prefecture, Yunnan 7 years
84 Li Xin* M 1982 Feb 24, 2023 Qujing, Yunnan 7 years
85 Li Changming* M 1980 2023 Ankang, Shaanxi 7 years
86 Xia Li* F 1970 2023 Ankang, Shaanxi 7 years
87 Luo Jing* F 1982 2023 Ankang, Shaanxi 7 years
88 Liu Lan* F 1962 Feb 24, 2023 Zhoukou, Henan 7 years
89 Zhang Dan* F 1966 Feb 24, 2023 Zhoukou, Henan 7 years
90 Xia Jie* F 1997 Oct 30, 2023 Mianyang, Sichuan 7 years
91 Liu Xin* F 1996 Sep 7, 2023 Chengdu, Sichuan 7 years
92 Zhang Nan* M 1986 Dec 12, 2023 Yichun, Jiangxi 7 years
93 Xie Haocheng* M 1987 Dec 12, 2023 Yichun, Jiangxi 7 years
94 Zhou Yan* F 1983 Dec 12, 2023 Yichun, Jiangxi 7 years
95 Wang Huiqin* F 1988 Dec 21, 2023 Wuxue, Hubei 7 years
96 Chen Yi* F 1990 Oct 18, 2023 Xianning, Hubei 7 years
97 Zhang Mingxin* M 1996 Feb 2, 2023 Fuyang, Anhui 7 years
98 Wu Dongning* M 1998 Jul 24, 2023 Bozhou, Anhui 7 years
99 Song En* F 1965 Nov 9, 2023 Linfen, Shanxi 7 years
100 Cheng Xue* F 1966 Feb 20, 2023 Tongliao, Inner Mongolia 7 years




2 Chinese police clash with Hui Muslim ethnic group trying to protect Yunnan mosque, ABC News, May 30th, 2023


3 Hubei Suizhou Family Church Accused of Cult Activity, Resulting in Multiple Arrests, ADHRRF, January 25th, 2024


4 Wang Zhipeng, Bengbu Dissident Pastor and Co-Workers Prosecuted for Fraud, BITTER WINTER, August 23rd, 2023




6 HEARING NOTICE: “The Chinese Communist Party’s Ongoing Uyghur Genocide”, Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, March 23rd, 2023


7 Jiang Tao, Post-COVID Purge: Over 2,100 Church of Almighty God Members Arrested in Two Provinces, Bitter Winter, September 7th, 2023


8 Massimo Introvigne: The New Religious Affairs Regulation Came into Force in 2018: What Exactly Happened?, Bitter Winter, September 6th, 2018




10 USCIRF Annual Report 2023: China, USCIRF, May 1st, 2023


11 2023 Annual Report: Key Findings and Recommendations, USCIRF, May 1st, 2023


12 A 3-Year “Final Solution” Plan Against The Church of Almighty God, Bitter Winter, December 30th, 2020


13 China: New Massive Wave of Persecution Against The Church of Almighty God, Bitter Winter, August 11th, 2023


14 Post-COVID Purge: Over 2,100 Church of Almighty God Members Arrested in Two Provinces, Bitter Winter, September 7th, 2023


15 China, More Members of The Church of Almighty God Arrested and Tortured, Bitter Winter, January 26th, 2024


16 New report: China is ramping up collective punishment of families of rights defenders, Safeguard Defenders, December 10th, 2023


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