- Religious Freedom
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China states that citizens of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. Yet, the reality for many in China could not be more different. The persecution of religious communities in China is rampant and one of the worst in the world. The last year and a half has seen religious persecution take on more stringent and invasive forms through new regional and national regulations and tougher restrictions regarding the religious training of children. The following overview captures some of these changes and demonstrates China’s continued refusal to implement Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Religious groups should “merge religious doctrines with Chinese culture, abide by Chinese laws and regulations, and devote themselves to China’s reform… and socialist modernization in order to contribute to the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.”
The persecution of religious communities in China continued to worsen in 2017.
” Party members should not have religious beliefs, which is a red line for all members … Party members should be firm Marxist atheists, obey Party rules and stick to the Party’s faith … they are not allowed to seek value and belief in religion.”
Wang also wrote:
“Religions should be sinicized … We should guide religious groups and individuals with socialist core values and excellent traditional Chinese culture and support religious groups to dig into their doctrines to find parts that are beneficial to social harmony and development,”
China is escalating its control over all religious activity. Interference with China`s education system demonstrates that training leaders to join the ranks of the CPC is the priority. China must respect the international standards for religious freedom as expressed in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
We call on China to implement religious freedom for its citizens. We should not forget the many brave individuals who have stood firm in their beliefs despite fierce persecution. This has been exemplified across faiths in China.
By Veronica Neffinger | Christian Headlines China’s government is not only cracking down on its own Christian citizens, it is also targeting South Koreans who are in the country and allegedly helped persecuted North Koreans who escaped Kim Jong-un’s oppressive regime. According to The Christian Post, the Chinese provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang have […]
By CLAIRE HEFFRON FOR MAILONLINE | Daily Mail Chinese authorities are reportedly stepping up their campaign against Muslims in the north-western region of Xinjiang. According to sources in the region, officials have been warning neighbourhoods and mosques that ethnic minority Muslim families are being forced to hand in religious items including the Koran and prayer […]
By Stoyan Zaimov | The Christian Post Believers with Muslim and Buddhist backgrounds are the most persecuted Christian groups in China, according to a watchdog organization. And those Christians are in urgent need of Bibles in their own languages. “We need as many Bibles in our own languages as possible,” said Patrick, an MBB (Muslim-background […]
By AFP | UK Daily Mail China has tightened regulations on religious freedom, intensifying punishments for unsanctioned activities and increasing its supervision of certain groups in a bid to “block extremism” and tackle what it sees as internal threats. The updated rules, released by China’s cabinet the State Council on Thursday, come as the country […]
Jardine Malado | Christian Times Chinese officials have allegedly forced Christians incarcerated in China’s southern Guangdong province to confess that they had participated in “evil cult” activities. According to China Aid, authorities arrested a Christian man named Ruan Haonan and took him to the police station on June 12. Ruan, a member of Fengle Church […]
My Matt Hadro | Catholic News Agency SHANGQIU, China – Local authorities in China’s Henan province reportedly destroyed a Christian church building last month, beating parishioners who tried to stop the demolition and detaining 40, the group China Aid says. “The church was completely razed, and a church member likened the scene to the Japanese […]
By Molly Lortie | Tibet Post International Dharamshala — Sources in Tibet have reported that Chinese authorities have further imposed restrictions to religious freedoms by denying students, teachers and faculty a holiday during Sakadawa, the holy month of the Buddha and prohibiting observance even at home. In new reports that echo tones of the Cultural […]
By Shohret Hoshur | Radio Free Asia Dozens of ethnic Uyghurs from a small village in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region, including several sets of siblings, have been swept up in a recent crackdown on “illegal religious activities” after they attended lectures by unsanctioned imams, according to local officials. At least 52 Uyghurs in Tomosteng township’s […]
By Benjamin Haas | The Guardian Many couples fret over choosing the perfect name for their newborn, but for Muslims in western China that decision has now become even more fraught: pick the wrong name and your child will be denied education and government benefits. Officials in the western region of Xinjiang, home to roughly […]
By Lorraine Caballero | Christian Daily Christian persecution in China could worsen if the communist nation strikes a deal with the Vatican on ordaining Chinese bishops, some Christian watchdog groups have warned Pope Francis. The Communist Party has refused to recognize the authority of the pope in the last few decades, and the Chinese Catholic […]
By Hazel Torres | Christian Times In China, buying or selling Christian reading materials could be enough ground to land believers in jail. Five Christians, including a pastor, found this out recently when they were sentenced to between three to seven years in prison for purchasing and selling what authorities called “forbidden Christian devotional books,” […]
By Qiao Long | Radio Free Asia Authorities in southern China have tried two members of an unofficial Protestant “house church” on spying charges, while a third has been tried for “illegal business activities,” lawyers and church members said on Wednesday. Wang Yao and Yu Lei stood trial on Monday and Wednesday at the Guiyang […]
By Lizzie Dearden | The Independent The Chinese government is calling on people to report their neighbours, friends and relatives for “luring minors into religious activities” in a province home to the country’s largest Muslim population. New education rules coming into force in Xinjiang on 1 November threaten to remove children from their parents’ care […]
By Qiao Long | Radio Free Asia Around 20 lawyers, academics and religious leaders have penned a letter to China’s parliament in protest over proposed rules that would intensify a government crackdown on religious activity by the country’s citizens. Earlier this month, the State Council released a draft set of draconian rules setting out measures […]
By Paul Carsten | Reuters China has jailed members of what the government calls a cult for causing deaths, organizing the group and illegally collecting money, state media said on Tuesday, part of a crackdown on what Beijing views as dangerous religious movements. China’s officially atheist Communist Party brooks no challenge to its rule and […]
Craig Offman | The Globe and Mail Ottawa has voiced support for Canada’s Miss World contestant who says that China’s security police have threatened her father as a result of her criticism of the country’s bleak human-rights record. Anastasia Lin, a University of Toronto theatre major who won the beauty pageant on May 16, has frequently […]
CRAIG OFFMAN | The Globe and Mail Canada’s newly crowned Miss World candidate says her family in China is being threatened for her outspokenness on religious freedom and her former country’s human-rights violations. Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old Torontonian, said that several days after her May 16 victory in Vancouver, she started receiving harrowing text messages from […]
By Didi Tang Associated Press | May 7, 2015 A Chinese province where authorities have forcibly removed hundreds of rooftop crosses from Protestant and Catholic churches has proposed a ban on any further placement of the religious symbol atop sanctuaries. The draft, if approved, would give authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang solid legal […]
On the afternoon of April 9, Nanle County was in lockdown. Police positioned red traffic cones across all major roads in and out of this small town in Henan province, checking every vehicle. In uniform and in plainclothes, they swarmed the town center. The following morning, government officials occupied every seat in a small courtroom […]
By Susana Mas, CBC News The Canadian government intends to raise the issue of religious intolerance with the Chinese, says Canada’s ambassador for the Office of Religious Freedom. Andrew Bennett’s comments come as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is poised to make another state visit to China some time in the fall. In an interview with […]