February 6th, 2008 07:09 EST
Persecution on the rise reports China Aid
Media Advisory, Feb. 6/Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid today released its annual persecution report to an anticipatory audience. According to the report, 2007 saw an increase in overall persecution since last year.
In 2007, the known religious cases in which house churches were persecuted by the government covered 18 provinces and one municipality directly under the jurisdiction of the Central Government and there were 60 cases of persecution, up 30.4% from that of 2006. The total number of people persecuted was 788, up 18.5% from that of the year before. The total number of people arrested and detained is 693, up 6.6% from that of the year before. 16 people were sentenced to imprisonment, down 5.9% from that of the year before.
Click to view a downloadable version of the 2007 Persecution Report in English
Click to view a downloadable version of the 2007 Persecution Report in Chinese
Four Characteristics of Persecution:
- Against the house church leaders: This is also the characteristic in 2006 which is different from the large- scale persecution of ordinary believers in 2005. A total of 415 church leaders were arrested in 2007. This accounts for 59.9% of all people arrested and for 52.6% of all people suffering persecution. (Please refer to Part 3 of this report. 4. Diagram)
- Against house churches in urban areas: Among the 60 cases of persecution, 35 of them occurred in urban areas (not including small towns) which accounts for 58.3%. Among these, the number of people persecuted in urban areas is 599 which accounts for 76% of a total number of 788 people. (Please see Part 2)
- Against Christian publications: There are seven persecution cases related to the operation, printing, transportation and distribution of Christian publications. They account for 11.7% of all the 60 persecution cases. Though the percentage of this type is not very high, two religious cases aroused concerns from the international community: one is the case in which Zhou Heng was persecuted for receiving a shipment of Bibles and operating legal Christian publications; another is that Mr. Shi Weihan in Beijing, who was persecuted for legal operation of Christian publications.
- Against foreign Christians and missionaries: Because of "Operation Typhoon No. 5," a total of over 100 (84 already confirmed) foreign Christians were arrested, interrogated and expelled from the country. Most of these were Christians from the West and a few of them were Christians from South Korea and other countries. About 70 foreign Christians were persecuted in Xinjiang. Some of these foreign Christians were not missionaries, but had their own secular professions in China. However, as they preached the Christian belief or were associated with local Christians and churches, they were persecuted by the government. This is the largest persecution operation of expelling foreign Christians since the early 1950s when the CPC drove out all of the foreign missionaries.
2007 has seen a widespread increase of persecution across China. Statistics show that the number of cases of persecution, the number of people persecuted and the number of people arrested and detained has made a dramatic increase since 2006.
Concern is that in 2009, after the Beijing Olympics, that the persecution on churches and Christians will escalate and the human rights condition will seriously worsen.
Released by CAA February 6, 2008