Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Thanks to a shortage of women created in part by China’s one-child policy, the country has become a hotbed of human trafficking. Desperate men pay exorbitant rates to marriage brokers who trick women into coming across the border and sell them like slaves.
National Right to Life: Four officials from different villages in Lanling county in Shandong Province told Chinese media that they were under an “abortion quota” and resorted to buying the records of women who had already aborted to meet the requirements.
Winnipeg Free Press (AP): China’s president warned in a key policy speech that religions must be independent from foreign influence, as the government asks domestic religious groups to pledge loyalty to the state.
USA Today: The Chinese government had a problem. Faced with rising discontent over its repressive rule in the largely Muslim province of Xinjiang, the government wanted to find a way to weaken Islam in the region. But how does a government weaken a religion?
Christian Today: China has long been considered one of the worst countries for religious liberty. Designated a country of particular concern by the US since 1999, the latest report from the Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found an “alarming increase in systematic, egregious, and ongoing abuses” in 2014.
The Salt-Lake Tribune (AP): A Chinese province where authorities have forcibly removed hundreds of rooftop crosses from Protestant and Catholic churches has proposed a ban on any further placement of the religious symbol atop sanctuaries.
Acton Institute: Many Muslims believe the use of tobacco products is forbidden (haram) because “tobacco is unwholesome, and God says in the Qur’an that the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘enjoins upon them that which is good and pure, and forbids them that which is unwholesome’.” Similarly, the Quran prohibits the use of intoxicants, such as alcohol, and considers such use to be sinful. For these reasons, many Muslim shopkeepers consider it against their religious beliefs to sell alcohol and cigarettes.
The Jerusalem Post: Christians are currently experiencing record numbers of abuse and persecution due to a state-sponsored crackdown on dissent.
The Christian Institute: Eminent scientists have raised “grave concerns” about a controversial new procedure to genetically modify human embryos.
CNS News: Chinese Christians and followers of other faiths last year experienced the harshest persecution in more than a decade, according to a report released Tuesday by a Christian human rights group.
UCA News: The scale of a church demolition campaign in China’s Zhejiang province may be much greater than previously reported, US-based China Aid warned this week.
The Telegraph: Almost every Sunday, Ge Conghui attends a church where, Bible in hand, she joins fellow Christians to sing hymns, listen to sermons and pray.
UCA News: The scale of a church demolition campaign in China’s Zhejiang province may be much greater than previously reported, US-based China Aid warned this week.
The Telegraph: Hopes that a government demolition campaign targeting Chinese churches had ended have been dashed after the crosses were stripped from at least three places of worship in recent days.
The Guardian: China’s top official in Tibet vowed on Wednesday to evaluate Buddhist monks and nuns for their “patriotism” and install national flags in monasteries to strengthen ideological control in the region.
The Washington Post: A Muslim was jailed for six years in China for refusing to shave off his beard, while his wife was imprisoned for two years for wearing a burqa, as part of a severe crackdown on religious “extremism” in the far-western province of Xinjiang, local media reported.
Forbes: By the end of 2014, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had identified 221 journalists in prison across the world, the second highest number since the organization started recording these figures in 1990. China and Iran were the worst offenders, holding a third of all journalists jailed globally.
World Religion News: Young Tibetan monks in the Qinghai Province are being blocked by Chinese authorities from returning to their monasteries following New Year visits with their families.
Breitbart: In a new report by the Pew Research Center, China leads the pack of the world’s 25 most populous nations in government restrictions on religion.
China US Focus: Christianity is thriving in China. Reports that there may be more religious believers than Communist Party members has made Beijing unsure how to respond. Beijing’s sensitivities to religion are well known. Government secular ideology sees religion as offering a competitive worldview to the hegemony of the Party, with legitimate fears that many Christians, especially Catholics, have loyalties beyond China’s borders. Religion brings people together in ways that might eventually influence politics.
Ecumenical News: An international Christian organization has expressed hope that the Chinese government’s campaign against churches and crosses appears to be slowing down.
Catholic News Agency: Despite the recent death of a long-imprisoned Chinese bishop, there are mixed signals suggesting the People’s Republic of China wills an improved relationship with the Holy See.
Huffington Post: Karl Marx long ago disparaged religion as “the opiate of the people,” and now the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants to ban all addicts. The Communist leadership of coastal Zhejiang province has declared it will double down on a long-standing but little-enforced rule that bars religious believers from joining the Party.
VOA News: The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. Activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office.
Asia News: The authorities in Chin State, western Myanmar, have issued a demolition order for a 16-metre cross (pictured) built by a group of Christians on a hill overlooking Hakha. They are also pressing ahead with charges against a local Christian, Tial Cem, a Chin elder who was involved in building the Christian symbol.
Christian Examiner: An urban planner of Chinese ancestry visited his homeland last spring just as reports began to appear worldwide that officials in Zhejiang Province south of Shanghai removing crosses from churches and in some cases demolishing entire buildings.
The Christian Institute: China has announced it will tighten controls on illicit sex testing of unborn babies in efforts to curtail sex-selective abortions.
Asia News: Authorities in the Chinese province of Zhejiang have arrested, questioned and then released a Hong Kong journalist, who was in the area for a report on the campaign of demolition of churches and crosses ordered by the local government.
Reuters: An official from China’s restive far-western Xinjiang called for strict measures to prevent early marriages and high birth rates in southern parts of the region, state media said on Friday, a move likely to raise concerns among ethnic Uighurs.
Ecumenical News: An industrial province in China is campaigning against “superstitious activities” in the area, trying to get rid of witches, shamans and even practitioners of Feng Shui.
UCA News: Repression in China has worsened since Xi Jinping became president in 2013, according to a report published by Freedom House on Tuesday, a sign that the Communist Party is struggling to maintain legitimacy and control despite China’s rise.
First Things: What has fueled China’s remarkable economic growth that has lifted more than 500 million people out of abject poverty and positioned it to become the world’s largest economy? In part, it’s been fueled by the pipeline of market mechanisms, modern technology and Western management practices that former paramount leader Deng Xioaping untapped in the 1980s.
The Christian Institute: In spite of a huge weight of persecution and state oppression, the number of Christians in China is growing year on year.
Reuters: The capital of China’s far western Xinjiang has banned the wearing of Islamic veils in public, the regional government said on Thursday, in a move experts worry could spark more unrest in the troubled region.
Aleteia: In Communist China, “Merry Christmas!” banners are conspicuously displayed along the shopping streets. “A serious challenge” according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who sees “a new advance of Christianization.”
Life News: Here is a girl for whom we are most thankful – MEIRONG (her name has been changed to protect her identity) – one of more than 100 girls saved by our “Save a Girl” Campaign.
Aleteia: China’s Communist government has been on an anti-Christian rampage of late, tearing down churches in the coastal city of Wenzhou and elsewhere, arresting underground bishops and home church leaders, and illicitly ordaining pliant priests as Catholic “bishops.“ But underneath this escalating campaign of repression – in fact, the reason for it – is a rapidly growing population of Christians.
The Daily Signal: The 2014 Global Slavery Index (GSI) found that there are nearly 36 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Of that, 36 million, nearly two-thirds, are from Asia. Without serious attention from the U.S. and Asian governments, millions of adults and children will continue to be forced into bonded labor, sex trafficking, slave-like conditions, and child soldiering in Asia.
Christian News Network (China Aid): Churches in Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the capital of the Chinese coastal Zhejiang province, reported cross demolitions on Friday; some Christians told China Aid that only one cross is still standing in the heavily persecuted Wenzhou area.
National Right to Life: According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, Cai Fang, vice director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has stated: “We will fully relax the policy” in two years, allowing all couples to have a second child. The reason: China’s shrinking labor pool will cause the potential growth rate to fall an average of 6.2 percent annually from 2016 to 2020.
Public Discourse: China’s One-Child policy, announced in 1979, is state-sponsored violence against women and children. The Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal properly construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity. Nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China’s thirty-five-year assault on women and children.
The Christian Post: A Chinese pastor, one of several in recent months to be arrested in a massive government crackdown on Christians, said that he is “grateful” to God for giving him the opportunity to go to jail. Forty-year-old Huang Yizi is facing up to seven years in prison for speaking out against the government’s demolitions of churches.
China’s one-child policy: Pro-choice and pro-life must work together to end forced abortion and gendercide
Public Discourse: Forced abortion and gendercide are not pro-life or pro-choice issues. They are human rights issues. Adapted from an address given at the Heritage Foundation on October 9th, 2014.
Christian News Network (Morning Star News): When Chinese authorities released Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng from prison on Aug.7, we didn’t hear anything from him, presumably because of the communist state’s one-year prohibition against him saying anything publicly that might “damage the reputation or interests of the state.”
Forced abortions, suffering of millions of women decried on 34th anniversary of China’s “One Child Policy”
The Christian Post: Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, has written an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the 34th anniversary of China’s one-child policy, condemning the continuation of forced abortions in the country.
Rhode Island Catholic: In India, a wave of Hindu religious fundamentalism is taking hold in some sectors of the country. Christians are being persecuted, sexually assaulted, and attacked by mobs, and the crimes are going unpunished, according to testimony given to the U.S. Congress by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Mercatornet: Pope Francis flew over China on his way to South Korea late last week, where the Catholic Church has seen rapid growth in the last decade. Papal custom is to send a telegram to the leaders of nations over whose airspace he passes.
Religion News Service: China has reacted cautiously to a bid by Pope Francis to open new dialogue with Beijing, with some officials quick to warn the Vatican not to “interfere” with the country’s religion.
Alliance Defending Freedom: “It is not one world,” Paul Harvey used to remind his listeners, and events of recent weeks have underscored that in heart-breaking ways, as word pours in of increasingly vicious and aggressive assaults on religious freedom all over the globe.
Life News: Critical Issues in Reproductive Health, released this year by academic publisher Springer, provides a revealing view into the current state of the worldwide debate over abortion, contraception, and the role of human reproduction in society.
New York Post: Since January, Communist officials there have toppled the crosses of at least 229 churches. The government has also torn down some churches entirely, and issued demolition notices to over 100 more.
Reuters: A Korean-American who runs a Christian NGO in a Chinese city on the border with North Korea is being investigated by Chinese authorities and has had his bank accounts frozen, a source with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters on Thursday.
Christianity Today: While a campaign in China to de-Christianize city skylines has drawn the most international attention this summer, Pew Research Center recently calculated the world’s 34 countries with the most government destruction of religious property(as of 2012). Three countries topped the list, with 100 or more incidents: China, Russia, and Tajikistan.
Worldwide Religious News: While last month marked the 25th anniversary of China’s silencing freedom in Tiananmen Square, this month China has been cementing this grim legacy — particularly regarding religious freedom.
China Aid News: In another sign of the authorities’ efforts to contain one of China’s fastest-growing religions, a government demolition campaign against public symbols of the Christian faith has toppled crosses at two more churches in the coastal province of Zhejiang, according to residents there.
Yahoo: Hundreds of police took down a church’s cross in eastern China early Monday amid a crackdown on church buildings in a coastal region where thousands of people are embracing Christianity.
Huffington Post: The battle started when a government-hired crew tore down the metal cross atop the one-room church in this village surrounded by rice paddies last month.
Christianity Today: In 21 days, Gao Zhisheng, perhaps the most well-known Christian currently serving prison time in China, is due to complete his eight-year sentence and could be freed as early as Aug. 7, according to family members.
China and Russia top governments responsible for damaging, vandalizing churches, mosques, says new study
The Christian Post: The Chinese, Russian and Tajikistan governments bore responsibility for the destruction of over 100 houses of worship in their respective countries in 2012.
Life News: The story that follows is what happens in a land where people are not free — and what happens when people like you, people who are free, choose to step up and help the helpless.
Christian News Network: Christians are vowing to stand firm for Christ amid much persecution by officials in a Chinese province where church buildings continue to be demolished, and where believers in a recent video can be seen bursting into tearful song about the cross and how their sins were washed away by the blood of Jesus while the cross atop their building is forcibly removed.
Life News: Last week a woman stepped forward to share about her traumatic forced abortion, inspired by the response to Feng Jianmei’s story. Zhang Wen Fang, 43, told Chai Ling of All Girls Allowed that she lost both her baby and her livelihood when officials forced her into a hospital for surgery four years ago.
National Review: Chinese authorities destroyed another cross from a church on Tuesday as part of a renewed government crackdown on Christianity, despite a group of Chinese Christians’ attempt to prevent the removal of the cross.
Mere Orthodoxy: It’s worth pointing out that this has nothing to do with any of the legal arguments that Hobby Lobby has pursued the last few years. Hypocrites still have their right to religious liberty, after all, and thank the Lord for it.
The Christian Post: Even as the Communist Chinese government recently cracked down on Christian communities, Christianity continues to grow rapidly in the People’s Republic.
CNN: Twenty-five years after Tiananmen Square – where on June 4, 1989, Chinese soldiers turned their guns on protesting students and activists – freedom remains elusive.
The New York Times: For nearly a year, the Sanjiang Church was the pride of this city’s growing Christian population. Late last month, however, the government ordered it torn down, saying it violated zoning regulations.
Christianity Today: When a megachurch’s walls came tumbling down in China’s Jerusalem last month, the forced demolition drew widespread international attention thanks to photos circulating on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. Now, Weibo photos have documented how local authorities have continued their campaign this May to de-Christianize the skyline of wealthy Wenzhou, one of China’s most Christian cities, and surrounding areas.
CNN: Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has tracked the world’s worst abusers of religious rights. As the most recent report notes, it has never lacked for material. Persecutions of people of faith are rising across the globe.
The Telegraph: Influential church leaders, academics and lawyers urge Beijing to respect religious freedoms as demolitions and detentions fuel fears of a campaign against China’s Christians.