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Christian Examiner: Communist officials in Vietnam are for the first time seeking the input of the country’s Catholic leaders on proposed legislation addressing faith and religion, but many bishops there believe the effort at transparency is only an attempt to “appear democratic,” AsiaNews reported May 4.
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.
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 Wall Street Journal (available via Google): The protests now roiling Hong Kong are about democracy. But there is an undercurrent of another, much older tension: Between Christianity and Communist China.
CNSNews: The top ten countries for persecuting Christians over the last year were: North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen.
One News Now: “A couple of months ago we got a report that over 80 people have been executed across the country and, among those 80, were Christians or owners of Bibles,” he says. “And so we see mass executions of Christians. We’ve seen even American citizens who are Christians being detained. And then, of course, there’s the fact that as many as 70,000 Christians are still living in prison camps.”
CNSNews: Famed film director Zhang Yimou must pay more than $1.2 million in fines for having three children in violation of China’s strict family planning rules, officials said Thursday.
AP: When her mind is clear, Gong Qifeng can recall how she begged for mercy. Several people pinned her head, arms, knees and ankles to a hospital bed before driving a syringe of labor-inducing drugs into her stomach.
Telegraph: Kim Jong-un’s aunt, a former North Korean regime stalwart and the wife of executed general Jang Song-taek, is reported to have either died of a heart attack or committed suicide
AP: Chinese authorities have refused to accept a family application seeking medical parole for the imprisoned nephew of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, the nephew’s mother said Friday.
AP: A Chinese doctor has admitted in court that she stole babies from the hospital where she worked and sold them to human traffickers, state media and a court said.
Radio Free Asia: Four Uyghur women in China’s troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang have been forced by authorities to undergo abortions—one of them nine months into her pregnancy—under Beijing’s brutally-enforced one-child policy, local officials and parents said.
The Guardian: Exam to be based on 700-page manual that prohibits published reports from featuring comments that go against party line.
Media And Politicians Want To Impose Same-sex “marriage” – But Citizens Fight Back. The Case Of Estonia
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The controversial “Lunacek-Report” was rubberstamped in yesterday’s session of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties and will probably be voted in one of the Parliament’s plenary sessions in January. The support of Socialists, Communists, and Greens for this radical paper is not really surprising (after all these groups are known to have embraced same-sex “marriage”, homosexual adoption, etc. as part of their social agenda) – but with regard to the Conservative and Christian Democrat members of the committee one is tempted to wonder whether they have really understood what they have raised their hands for. The experience with the Estrela-Report should have taught them to be more watchful.
Reuters: North Korea has executed the powerful uncle of young leader Kim Jong Un, state media said on Friday, the biggest upheaval in years as the ruling dynasty sought to distance itself from responsibility for the isolated states’s dire living standards.
AP: Chinese authorities have been withholding residence visas for reporters working for The New York Times and Bloomberg in apparent retaliation for the agencies’ investigative stories on wealth accumulated by leaders’ families.
Voice of America: China’s top court has ruled out forced confessions and vowed to reduce miscarriage of justice, in a move that highlights increasing policy emphasis on legal reform.
LifeNews: Similarly, last Friday the mainstream media ran such optimistic headlines as “China Reforms: One-child policy to be relaxed” and “China to ease One Child Policy.” In apparent response to quell speculation that this small adjustment represents a major reform,Xinhua ran another report over the weekend: “Birth policy changes are no big deal.”
Breitbart: The atrocities in North Korea reached another peak on November 3, as roughly 80 people were publicly executed in seven different cities for crimes such as watching films made in South Korea, dealing in pornography or possessing a Bible.
Charisma News: “They pray for us because they feel we are persecuted by our prosperity and it distances us from God,” he says. “They pray that we will remain faithful to the Lord.”
Catholic Culture: A pastoral letter by a Chinese bishop who is under house arrest has been blocked from internet circulation by Chinese officials, the AsiaNews service reports.
Jared Genser at Washington Post: In recent decades, China’s economy has grown about 10 percent a year, lifting more than 500 million people out of poverty, generating wealth for the middle class and expanding global trade. But as the world’s most populous nation has become an increasingly important player on the international stage, it has also brazenly refused to respect fundamental human rights at home. Nowhere is this more evident than the continued persecution of high-profile rights activists and their families.
Monica Showalter at Investor’s Business Daily: The focus was on family, not what Marxism could do for the working class. But unlike economic classes such as Kulaks or aristocrats who had fallen into his disfavor, women couldn’t be liquidated. Their favored institutions could, however, and that’s why Lenin specifically targeted marriage and family in his effort to build a “New Soviet Man.” Five elements stand out in how Lenin and his Bolsheviks used propaganda to get women to support his revolution.
Christian Post (ANS): Morning Star News went on to say that some have suggested that the investigating officer may have neglected to question eyewitnesses at the crime site, as witnesses there at that time did not disclose information to police, said Tehmina Arora, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom-India, who appeared for the accused at the Supreme Court for their bail application. “It’s hard to understand why those who were eyewitnesses to such a tragic event failed to disclose the same to the police,” she told Morning Star News. “The reliance placed on certain witnesses by the court seems unjustifiable and based on assumptions and presumptions. Furthermore, in spite of little evidence of the same, the court has made very strong and unwarranted statements against the seven Christians.”
QZ.com: China doesn’t just exert heavy control over state media; its influence over media outlets outside China is expanding, according to a new report by Freedom House . . . Perhaps most remarkable is that the traditionally critical Chinese-language press outside the mainland are starting to fall in line. The report notes that in Hong Kong, influential newspapers like the Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily and Sing Pao are now controlled by tycoons with core business interests on the mainland and who have close ties to officials.
AFP on Google: A US government commission said Thursday that China’s human rights record has not improved under the country’s new leadership and raised concerns on issues from minority rights to forced abortion.
Christian Post: “[The] Chinese human rights situation really demands or requires more public education to the free world because people now see China more on the economic booming, skyscrapers…the military might, but not very many, from the freedom deficit and repressive and also the freedom hungry inside China,” Fu told The Christian Post.
Washington Times: A pregnant Chinese mother of one was unceremoniously yanked from her bed in the middle of the night, dragged to a medical facility and forced to abort her unborn child, just three months shy of her projected delivery date.
LifeSiteNews: In an exclusive interview with ChinaAid.org, 31-year-old Li Fengfei relayed the horrifying story of her forced abortion at the hands of Chinese family planning officials. Li was newly pregnant with an unauthorized second child in her hometown of Qingmen, Qinsha county, in April when superiors at her job unlawfully framed her for embezzling money from the business.
Townhall: The United Nations experts investigating human rights conditions in North Korea said Tuesday that the “shocking” evidence they had collected from defectors and others suggested “large-scale” patterns of abuse that demanded an international response.
Telegraph: China’s increasing crackdown on organised dissent appeared to intensify on Friday after a billionaire businessman linked to a nascent civil rights movement was detained by police.
LifeNews: provinces in China collected a total of $2 billion (12.8 billion Chinese yuan) in fines last year for violations of the One-Child Policy, according to a study by 21st Century Business Herald, as reported by state-controlled outlet China Daily.
Reuters: The most prominent Catholic in greater China warned on Tuesday of violence in Hong Kong next year as a planned campaign of civil disobedience demanding full democracy possibly sparks a backlash from the government after unnerving Beijing.
Economist: But Mr Wang’s objections are not to the coercion; he opposes abortion itself. His stance would be familiar to Americans, but it is rare in China. Many Chinese oppose the family-planning policy, he says, but as to whether abortion is ethical or not, “most Chinese do not give it a thought”.
CNSNews: “The Chinese Communist Party periodically modifies the one-child policy, but the coercion at its core remains,” she said. “Reports of these tweaks – especially when mischaracterized by western media – throw the human rights world into confusion and blunt genuine efforts to end forced abortion in China.”
AP: The United States is deeply concerned about what it sees as a deteriorating human rights situation in China, with relatives of activists increasingly being harassed and policies in ethnic areas becoming more repressive, a senior U.S. diplomat said Friday.
LifeSiteNews: Two Family Planning Officials were killed and four suffered injuries Tuesday after a man attacked their office, reported state-run Chinese media. Reports said the man, a father of four, carried knives into the Dongxing City Family Planning Bureau after officials refused to register his over-quota child.
AP: A woman who became a symbol for the groundswell of opposition to China’s labor camp system scored a rare victory Monday in an appeal for compensation in a case that generated a huge public outcry.
Times of India: The Tibetan parliament-in-exile has condemned the firing by Chinese police on Tibetans celebrating the birthday of their spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, in Tawu region in eastern Tibet on July 6.
National Post: A crack has appeared in China’s decades-old campaign against the Dalai Lama, with some monasteries reporting that they are no longer being forced to denounce the Tibetan religious leader.
AP: New wording in the law requiring people to visit or keep in touch with their elderly parents or risk being sued came into force Monday, as China faces increasing difficulty in caring for its aging population.
AP: Chen Guangcheng said he is convinced that rapidly growing yearnings for freedoms and human rights among the Chinese will eventually “put an end to the authoritarian rule” in the communist country.
LifeSiteNews: The Chinese government has given notice to citizens of the city Huizhou that all women of childbearing age must be fitted with Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) or be permanently sterilized via tubal ligations.
Assist News Service: One of the frustrations of my work at VOM is the seeming indifference of the secular media to the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. Yes, there are times when a story of persecution breaks through into our national conversation—Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran, or the attack on Dogo Nahawa in Nigeria—but for the most part Christian persecution is not a story we see on the evening news or read even in the fine-print sections of the newspaper.
LifeSiteNews: Human rights activist Chen Guangcheng has confirmed in a statement that New York University is forcing his family out of their campus home by month’s end, warning that his case shows the power of a totalitarian regime halfway across the world to affect U.S. higher education policies.
Catholic Culture: Ngai’s brother, who was imprisoned in an adjacent cell, heard him being beaten by prison authorities on the night of his death.
LifeNews: Human rights groups are decrying a new full-scale campaign by family planning officials in China to force women to get IUDs or be sterilized against their will.
LifeNews: When Baby 59’s unmarried mother delivered him in her bathroom, she thought her child would remain a secret. But after the baby slipped from her hands into the sewer pipe, her secret became global news.
Fresno Bee: The Czech Republic’s highest court on Monday upheld a government plan to pay billions of dollars to religious groups in compensation for property the country’s former Communist regime seized from them.
Stetson.edu: Drafts of laws have been introduced into the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine regarding return to religious organizations of worship facilities and other property that were confiscated in the twentieth century by the communist regime.
Robert Oscar Lopez at Public Discourse: After the French protests against same-sex marriage, we can no longer speak of redefined marriage as inevitable or enlightened.
AP: A Chinese city’s plan to fine mothers who have a child out of wedlock has sparked criticism that the policy is discriminatory and could lead to an increase in abandoned babies.
LifeNews: On the heels of international publicity over a newborn baby boy who was flushed down the toilet and discovered crying in a sewage pipe comes news that a woman has died after family planning officials forced her to have an abortion.
Washington Post: There’s surprisingly little data available on the subject. But a 2012 poll by WIN/Gallup International — an international polling firm that is not associated with the D.C.-based Gallup group — asked more than 50,000 people in 40 countries whether they considered themselves “religious,” “not religious” or “convinced atheist.”
Forum 18: China does not allow religious communities to run schools for children, even though regulations do not forbid the provision of religious education to minors. Nor is religious education provided in state schools. For students beyond school age, only state-approved religious groups affiliated with China’s five state-backed monopoly faiths are allowed to apply to set up institutions for the study of their faith or training of clergy, Forum 18 News Service notes. Restrictions are especially tight in Tibet and Xinjiang. The state limits the number of such institutions and their size. Establishing new colleges is cumbersome and long drawn out, even when successful. Their curricula must include “politics” and “patriotic” education, as defined by the state. The state also discourages religious activity on general university campuses. These restrictions reflect the authoritarian state’s desire to control religious groups, including by intervening in the training of their leaders and the level of education of their members.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Family planning agents are investigating China’s most famous film director for reportedly having 7 children with 4 women. If guilty of breaking China’s laws, Zhang Yimou could face $27 million in fines.
Express.co.uk: Fears that famine-stricken North Koreans are being forced to eat human flesh heightened earlier this year following claims a man was executed for murdering his two children for food.
Nina Shea at National Review: North Korea’s Kim dynasty considers religion a hindrance to the nation’s socialist evolution. For 50 years, its secret police has waged a brutal campaign to eradicate religious belief. It has nearly succeeded. But the numbers of Christian believers are now slowly rising (maybe even in the low hundreds of thousands) and they must be prepared to pay with their lives for their faith.
AP: Human rights groups are urging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to raise the ill-treatment of dissidents and other rights concerns during a weekend visit to China expected to be dominated by talk of North Korea.
AP: Dozens of Chinese rights lawyers and citizens have flocked to an eastern city this week to protest an elementary school for preventing the 10-year-old daughter of an activist from returning to class.
CNSNews: Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, testifying in front of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a packed crowd Tuesday, held up a list of “corrupt officials” whom he said were responsible for “130,000 forced abortions” in China.
Washington Post: Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng appealed to Congress Tuesday to press the Obama administration to release what he said were high-level diplomatic agreements made with China when then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton negotiated his departure from China nearly …
Boston Globe: Speaking before a congressional panel Tuesday, Chen said his nephew has been threatened by Yinan County officials with life imprisonment if he appeals his three-year sentence for assault.
Reuters: Two retired senior Chinese officials are engaged in a battle with one another to sway Beijing’s new leadership over the future of the one-child policy, exposing divisions that have impeded progress in a crucial area of reform.
LifeSiteNews: A mother of two has died after a forced sterilization, which took place against a doctor’s orders, Women’s Rights in China reports.
Gospel Herald: Tens of thousands of Chinese were to be baptized Catholics on Easter Sunday in mainland China, the country with a quarter of the world’s population, while just 50 years ago the Communists had ordered the complete purge of any religions and the indoctrination of atheism in its citizens.
LifeSiteNews: Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that Romania has one of the highest abortion rates in Europe with 480 abortions for every 1,000 live births—a figure that is double the official EU abortion average. In 1990, Romania’s ration of abortions to live births was a horrific three to one. Today, Romania’s abortion rate is second only to Russia’s in Europe.
LifeNews: The graphic photograph of a of an aborted 7-month boy is widely circulating among Chinese people on the Internet following a horrifying forced abortion that took place on Friday. The forced abortion took place in Chuzhou City, Anhui Province as a woman named Lü, a 33-year-old Chinese woman whose husband reported the case and released the photograph, was victimized.
NY Times: So Ms. Hernández was more than a little tickled when she became the first transgender person to be elected to public office in Cuba, a country whose government once viewed homosexuality as a dangerous aberration and, in the 1960s, packed gay men off to labor camps.
AP: China pledged Wednesday to allow charities, industry associations and other nonprofit groups to play a greater role in society in an acknowledgement of the growing importance of independent organizations that the authoritarian government traditionally has treated with suspicion.
Baptist Press: Vietnam’s latest changes in enforcement of its highest law regarding religion clarify the country’s intent to especially control the spread of Christianity, according to an authority on Vietnamese Protestant Christianity, World Watch Monitor has reported.