Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Friday, March 7th, 2014
Two churches located in the coastal province of Zhejiang, China, have had the crosses atop their buildings forcibly removed after authorities decided they were too "conspicuous." The pastor of one of the churches said he had no input in the decision and that local authorities simply showed up with cranes to demolish the cross atop his church. Both churches effected belong to the official government controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Persecution of these churches is rare unless the congregations or pastor step outside of strict guidelines mandated by the Communist Party. Millions of Christians in China choose to worship outside of these legal churches in unregistered "house churches" despite the risk of arrest.
Friday, February 28th, 2014
In the following article, former house church pastor Joshua Dao lambastes the Communist government of China for its ongoing efforts to suppress Christianity. Starting with the history of Christian persecution in China, Pastor Joshua goes on to describe specific incidents, including the recent arrest of two teachers at a Christian kindergarten. While China claims to allow complete religious freedom, in reality Christians are forced to attend government controlled churches or risk arrest. Churches that stray too far from government endorsed doctrine or activities, or churches that come into direct conflict with the government, face aggressive intimidation tactics and the arrest of their leaders.
Thursday, February 27th, 2014
When Xu Yonghai and a group of Christians went to visit a fellow believer under house arrest, they were detained by Beijing authorities. After spending more than a month under arrest, ten of the Christians from the group have been freed, but three remain in custody. One Christian in the group, Yang Jing, suffered from a heart attack during his detainment but was only given a cursory examination. China claims internationally to protect and provide for full religious freedom, however in practice Christians are required by law to attend only government controlled churches and are frequently arrested.
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Zhao Guoli and his wife run an orphanage for the Nanle County Christian Church in central China. On Nov 15th, Zhao "disappeared" into police custody after traveling to Beijing in an attempt to mediate a land dispute between his church and the local government. Christians are often taken into police custody in China without any notice to their families or friends, leaving loved ones to search for days or even weeks at police stations for their family members. Since November, authorities in Henan Province have actively repressed the Nanle County Christian Church, at one point detaining nearly two dozen church members and hiring mobs to harass film crews attempting to cover the case.
Monday, February 24th, 2014
Two Christian kindergarten teachers were taken into custody by Chinese police last week in the southern province of Guangxi. They were later charged with "engaging in illegal business operations", a trumped up accusation that their lawyers say are completely baseless. More likely, their arrest has to do with the Christian teaching materials used in their classes and the fact that the church was founded by a house church pastor, Wang Dao, who was heavily persecuted by the government and later forced to flea to the United States.
Monday, February 24th, 2014
Three Christian members of the Nanle County Christian Church were recently found being held by authorities at a "black jail" in Henan Province, China. "Black jails" are unofficial detention centers where authorities are able to extra-judicially hold individuals for almost indefinite lengths of time. The discovery of the jail by local Christians and the report issues by human rights organization ChinaAid effectively led to the quick closure of the jail and the transfer of the three Christians to another location. In November of last year, authorities kidnapped or arrested nearly two dozen members of the Nanle Country Christian Church in the harshest crackdown on a government approved church in China in more than two decades.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Nine Christians in central China remain behind bars this week as their lawyers appeal for an investigation from a higher level court. The nine Christians, including Pastor Zhang Shaojie, were arrested back in November along with more than a dozen other church members belonging to the Nanle County Christian Church. The mass arrest was unusual because the church belongs to the government controlled "Three-Self" church organization. Most of China's Christians choose to worship in unregistered house churches and can be arrested for attending these "illegal" gatherings.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
New details have emerged on the treatment of three Christians taken into custody in Shaanxi Province, China. One of the detained Christians, Feng Tiandong, was placed in a torture chair called a "tiger bench" and, according to his attorneys, still bears scars from his brutal initial arrest. The three believers have been detained for more than two months for "organizing an evil cult," a charge commonly used in China to harass religious minorities.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Across China, Christians continue to face harassment, detention, and imprisonment at the hands of the Chinese government. While China does allow for Christians to worship in "Three-Self" Churches, these are regulated by the government, forcing many Christians to worship in illegal house churches. Many Christians connected with pro-Democracy movements also face arrest, including the 13 Christians arrested in Beijing two weeks ago. Lawyers for the group have just been allowed to visit for the first time after the Christians were charged for taking part in "illegal assemblies and demonstrations."
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
In a seminar held late last month in San Francisco, Wu Zhongsu, the son of the founder of China's government backed Three-Self Church movement, said that the Communist government hates Christianity. Wu also warned that the Communist Party is attempting to use Christianity as a means of furthering it's own agenda. Other speakers at the seminar, including human rights lawyers and missionaries, spoke about the persecution that is ongoing, including the case of the Nanle County Christian Church. The Nanle church had two dozen members and the pastor of the church arrested back in November, likely because of their activism in the community. The churches pastor and a few members remain in prison.
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Dong Chunhua has been missing more than a month. A Chinese missionary to Tibet, Dong was last seen by a fellow missionary in the Shigatse Prefecture of Tibet. Dong, who has reportedly spread the Gospel in more than 70 Tibetan counties, has been detained by police before and had his home raided by authorities. China remains hostile, especially in the Tibet Autonomous Region, towards religious minorities.
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
In China, tens of millions of Christians worship in illegal "house churches" rather than attend government controlled Three-Self churches. These Christians can technically be arrested and detained at any time and in some areas are harassed regularly by Chinese authorities. Over the past several years an effort has been underway to educate Christian leaders and members of house churches on their rights provided by the Chinese constitution, which technically completely protects the right to worship as one chooses. This hasn't stopped the Chinese government from shutting down churches across the nation and tightly restricting who can lead and what can be preached at Three-Self churches.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Gao Zhisheng was once considered to be one of China's top lawyers, until he began to campaign on behalf of human rights issues. He was later nominated twice for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work defending Chinese citizens against government abuse, including arrested Christians. This led to what has now become five years of harassment, imprisonment, and torture. Today, Gao is locked up in the countries far Northwestern Province of Xinjiang, where his family and friends have been barred from visiting him.
Friday, January 31st, 2014
The following "guest post" appeared recently on the website of China Aid, a non-profit human rights organization helping Chinese Christians. The author discusses the mysterious death of a formerly well respected journalist who converted to Christianity in the U.S., ultimately leading to being black listed by the Chinese authorities. Although officially his death was attributed to suicide, the author suspects the cause was far more insidious. Prominent human rights lawyers and others who attempt to defend the rights of Christians and speak up for religious freedom are heavily repressed by authorities in China.
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Pastor Zhang Shaojie of the Nanle County Christian Church in Henan Province was detained back in November along with 23 other church members by Chinese authorities. The case was highly unusual for China, as Pastor Shaojie leads a government approved "Three-Self" church. His arrest, and the arrest of his church members, many of whom have now been released, may have been due to his activism and the community and his protest over the confiscation of church land by the government. Chinese officials have been heavy handed in the case, sealing off the church and threatening church members. Government hired thugs have also attacked church members, lawyers, and journalists attempting to cover the case.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
House churches in two Chinese provinces are reported that they have faced intense pressure to shut down by police and other government agencies. In China, only government endorsed and controlled "Three-Self" churches are allowed to operate legally, forcing Protestant Christians to choose between worshiping in a government controlled service or freely in an illegal "house" church. These house churches are subject to harassment at any time by government officials and members are sometimes arrested.
Monday, January 27th, 2014
While China publicly claims to allow full religious freedom, the Communist Party continues to maintain a policy of tightly restricting the operations of religious groups. Christians are forced by law to worship in only government approved churches, yet millions choose to practice their faith illegally in unregistered house churches. Last Friday 15 Christians belonging to a house church in Beijing were detained when they attempted to visit a fellow believer under house arrest. Their arrest may be a part of a wider effort by the national government to repress any perceived "dissident" groups ahead of the Chinese New Year.
Saturday, January 25th, 2014
In November, Chinese authorities detained 23 members of the Nanle Country Church in Henan Province. The arrest of the church members, including Pastor Zhang Shaojie, is the largest known crack down on a legal, government endorsed "Three-Self" church in recent history. Typically only "illegal" and unregistered house churches face this type of harassment. In the months since the arrest, Pastor Zhang Shaojie's location was kept secret and his attorney was prevented from meeting with him. Now a court date has been set for Jan. 28, though trials of political criminals in China tend to be serious examples of injustice, with the guilty verdict being a foregone conclusion. About half of the believers detained with the pastor have been released.
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
The arrest of Pastor Zhang Shaojie and 23 of his church members ten weeks ago has sparked one of the most egregious incidents of Christian persecution in China in recent months. While about half of the believers have been released, many continue to face intimidation and harassment, including Pastor Shaojie's family. Lawyers attempting to defend the Christians legal rights have been roughed up by government sponsored thugs and even international film crews have been attacked. Now Pastor Shaojie faces trumped up charges of "fraud" and "disturbing public order." Genuine religious freedom in China remains an elusive dream for its tens of millions of Christian adherents.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
In this excellent article by Jinghon Cai, ChinaAid takes a look at the "smoke and mirrors" of China's policy towards religious freedom. It is highly possible that China now has more than 200 million Christians, though exact numbers are not available. The government of China also claims that it allows complete religious freedom for its citizens, while in reality Christians may only legally attend government controlled "Three-Self" churches. However the arrest back in November of the pastor and 23 church members of the Nanle County Christian Church, a "Three-Self" church, shows that even this "endorsed" organizations are not exempt from persecution.
Sunday, January 19th, 2014
ChinaAid, a human rights organization based in Texas, has obtained a list of the 12 members of the Nanle County Christian Church in Henan Province who still remain in detention two months after their arrest. The Christians were arrested when Chinese authorities launched a crack down on the church in November, arresting the pastor and sending mobs of hired thugs to intimidate church members and lawyers who came to their defense. ICC joins with ChinaAid in calling for the immediate release of these 12, the dropping of all charges against church members, and the reopening of the church building.
Saturday, January 18th, 2014
Pastor Zhang Shaojie, who was arrested by Chinese authorities back in November, is to go to trial on charges of "fraud" and "disturbing public order." The pastor, along with two dozen other members of his church, were arrested in a heavy handed crack down on the Three-Self Nanle Country Christian Church in Henan Province. The arrests were most likely provoked after the pastor and other church members went to petition the government in Beijing over a land dispute. China continues to maintain tight control over religious minorities in the country and regularly arrests members of "illegal" house churches. The blatant targeting for repression of a sanctioned "Three-Self" church is more unusual.
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Gao Zhisheng, a Christian human rights lawyer and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, has been imprisoned in Northwest China since late 2011. His work documenting human rights abuses and calling for greater religious freedom in China was seen as a threat by Chinese authorities, who since 2006 have consistently arrested, imprisoned, and tortured Gao. Geng He, Gao's wife, told ICC in an interview in 2012 that Gao's faith and it's emphasis on justice and serving others is a fundamental motivation for his work.
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
On Thursday, January 16th, Geng He, the wife of jailed Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, will provide testimony to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington D.C. Gao Zhisheng, who became a Christian in 2005, is a Nobel Peace Prize nominated attorney who was repeatedly targeted for his work documenting human rights abuses in China before being arrested in 2006. Sine then he has re-emerged into public view several times, only to be arrested or placed under house arrest. Gao points to his Christian faith and its emphasis on morality and compassion as the basis for his work.
Monday, January 13th, 2014
Alimujiang Yimiti is a former Muslim who converted to Christianity and became a house church leader in China's Northwestern Xinjiang Province. He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly "providing state secrets to overseas organizations" and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. As is not uncommon in China, the charges have little to do with Brother Yimiti's real crime, his zeal for spreading the Gospel. This month Alimujiang will mark the sixth year anniversary of his imprisonment. China must continue to face serious international pressure for the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience like Alimujiang Yimiti until significant reforms have been made and political prisoners are released.
Sunday, January 12th, 2014
A new report by the Belgium based Human Rights Without Frontiers International has concluded that China remains one of the world's worst places for citizens to enjoy religious freedom. The report comes despite a general impression in the international community that China has largely improved its track record on human rights and religious freedom over the past few decades. While their have undoubtedly been improvements, conditions for religious minorities remain woeful as they face tight control over their activities. Members of unregistered religious groups even face arrest. Last week one Christian died after being taken into custody and facing "inhuman treatment" along with several other church members in China's Xinjiang Province. The report also takes a look at the astonishingly high number of members on the U.N. Human Rights Council who violate religious freedom consistently.
Saturday, January 11th, 2014
At least a dozen Christians belonging to the Nanle County Christian Church in Henan Province remain locked away after authorities began of a series of detentions and attacks against the church in mid-November. A group of human rights lawyers determined to defend the church have announced they will attempt to take the case to the provincial court level, though all of their efforts thus far to defend church members or even meet with the detained churches pastor have been blocked. The case is an example of just how much power Chinese authorities retain to arrest and intimidate Christian communities, even when those communities belong to an official government sanctioned "Three-Self" church.
Saturday, January 11th, 2014
Reports of detentions and intimidation of Christians by Chinese authorities continue to emerge from believers in provinces across China. One Christian reportedly died in police custody in Xinjiang Province from complications of an existing condition after suffering inhumane treatment. Christians in China, especially those belonging to unregistered house churches, saw a dramatic uptick in harassment by authorities over the course of the Christmas holiday.
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
13 Christians remain unlawfully behind bars in Central China's Henan Province despite international media attention and an attempt by lawyers to obtain their release. The 13 are members of the Nanle Country Christian Church and include the churches pastor, Zhang Shaojie, who was arrested in November. The case is highly unusual, as authorities typically do not target members of official government sanctioned "Three-Self" churches. The arrest of the believers and the ensuing harassment of the churches members may be related to Pastor Shaojie's activism in the community and a dispute the church has with the local government over a land issue.
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
Christians across China experienced greater levels of harassment and intimidation last month as the Christmas holiday approached, reports ChinaAid. From detaining house church believers in Shaanxi Province to shutting down church service in Henan, authorities stepped up their repression of Christians who refuse to worship in government controlled "Three-Self" churches. In one case in Sichuan Province Christians gathering for a Christmas service were tear-gassed by police breaking up the event. ICC regularly reports on and provides assistance to victims of religious persecution in China.