ChinaAid Picks 2011’s Top 10 Cases Of Persecution In China
1/19/2012 China (ChinaAid) – 2011 can be regarded as China’s “year of political and religious persecution” or “year of Beijing terrorism.” Last year saw the revival of extreme leftist ideology and a severe deterioration of the rule of law, bringing with it not only the most severe deterioration in political and religious freedom for the Chinese people since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution and the 1989 military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement, but also blatant human rights violations and a worrying economic crisis. Because of the Arab Spring Jasmine Revolution in 2011, a systematic crackdown on churches and prominent Christians that was launched in the second half of 2010 was extended and lasted for the whole of 2011.
ChinaAid’s selection of the top 10 persecution cases for 2011 is based on the severity, impact and significance of each incidence of persecution and is a highly representative list. These cases occurred in different parts of China and involved both urban and rural house churches, as well as “Three-Self” churches and Catholic churches. The victims included pastors, human rights lawyers, political dissidents and artists.
1. Beijing Shouwang Church―nonstop persecution throughout the year
In 2011, Beijing Shouwang Church, a well-known house church in Beijing with more than 1,000 members, was forced to hold its worship services outdoors. The government’s persecution of the church has lasted for 38 weeks nonstop and is ongoing. This large-scale and persistent crackdown on Shouwang Church is part of the government’s widespread suppression of house churches in 2011 and can be viewed as a continuation of the persecution that started with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
3. Jiangsu province’s Suqian House Church repeatedly persecuted; Pastor Shi Enhao given two-year labor camp sentence
Shi Enhao, pastor of the Suqian Church in Jiangsu province and vice president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, was sentenced to two years of re-education-through-labor, and is currently serving this labor camp sentence.
5. Twenty-one house church leaders criminally detained in Inner Mongolia; police extort money from detainees’ families
On July 26, 2011, dozens of Domestic Security Protection agents from the Haibowan sub-bureau of the Wuhai police force burst into a meeting in the city of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia, where church leaders from Wuhai and Ningxia Province’s Shizuishan were gathered to plan church activities. All 21 attendees were criminally detained.