- 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 Courtney Grogan | Catholic News Agency Beijing, China (CNA/EWTN News).- This month’s meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, convened March 5, will likely confirm a constitutional change eliminating term limits and allowing President Xi Jinping to stay in power beyond 2023. Xi, who assumed office in March 2013, has overseen a national campaign to […]
By Michael Martina | Reuters GUANGHE, China (Reuters) – For some in China’s ethnic Hui Muslim minority here, a recent ban on young people engaging in religious education in mosques is an unwelcome interference in how they lead their lives. Their big fear is the Chinese government may be bringing in measures in this northwestern […]
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By World Watch Monitor A Chinese court in the southwestern province of Yunnan sent six Protestant Christians to prison last week for their membership of an “evil cult”. The verdict comes as part of a provincial crackdown on cults, as the ruling Communist Party continues its national campaign to restrict unregistered churches before new religious […]
By Christian Shepherd | Reuters BEIJING (Reuters) – A mostly Muslim county in western China has banned children from attending religious events over a winter break, an education bureau said in a notice posted online, as authorities step up control of religious education. School students in Linxia county in Gansu province, home to many members […]
By Chris Baynes | Independent Chinese authorities have demolished a well-known Christian megachurch, inflaming long-standing tensions between religious groups and the Communist Party. Witnesses and overseas activists said the paramilitary People’s Armed Police used dynamite and excavators to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church, which has a congregation of more than 50,000, in the city of […]
By Gerry Shih | Religion News Service BEIJING (AP) — Zhang Haitao was a rare voice in China, a member of the ethnic Han majority who for years had criticized the government on social media for its treatment of the minority Muslim Uighurs. Zhang’s wife had long feared some sort of backlash despite her husband’s […]
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 […]
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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 […]