ICC Note: On April 21, 2015, China Aid released its annual report for 2014 on cases of religious and human rights persecution throughout the country. According to the report, persecution caused by the government against its people has increased more than 150% since 2013. The analysis is comprised of six different categories ranging from the number of total persecution cases to the number of people detained. All six categories increased from 2013 to 2014.
04/21/2015 China (China Aid) – Today, China Aid released its 2014 Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution in China, The Year of “Persecution and Endurance,” which indicates that religious persecution and human rights abuse by the Chinese government against its citizens has risen 152.74 percent since 2013 based on six specific categories of persecution.
All six categories, which include the total number of persecution cases, the number of religious practitioners persecuted, the number of citizens detained, the number of citizens sentenced, the number of severe abuse cases and the number of individuals in severe abuses cases, increased between 103.67 and 10,516.67 percent. The category with the largest increase was the number of citizens sentenced, which increased from 12 in 2013 to 1,274 in 2014.
In 2014, China Aid documented 572 cases of persecution in which 17,884 religious practitioners were persecuted, representing a 300 percent increase since 2013.
A number of factors led to the increase, including intense persecution in Zhejiang province as a result of the Chinese government-sanctioned “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign, which targeted both house churches and government-registered Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) churches and claimed to eradicate “illegal structures.” In reality, the campaign indiscriminately removed and demolished crosses on church buildings and, in many cases, demolished the entire church building, regardless of whether the building had been previously approved by the Chinese government.
In addition to persecution in Zhejiang province, a wide-spread crackdown on so-called “cult activities” contributed to the increase in the number of religious practitioners persecuted, with the number in individual cases reaching close to or more than 1,000 religious adherents.