Today, January 31, 2020, The Church of Almighty God (CAG) released its 2019 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of the CAG. In the past year, the CCP continued its brutal and inhumane persecution of the CAG, resulting in the arrest of at least 6,132 church members, the sentencing of 1355, and the death of at least 19.
This report has been compiled based on over 30,000 cases of CCP persecution of CAG Christians that have been collected as well as official CCP documents regarding the persecution of religious beliefs. It provides a valuable resource made up of firm data and evidence for all individuals and organizations concerned with religious persecution and human rights in China.
The Church of Almighty God is a new Christian church in China. Since its establishment in 1991, it has suffered frantic suppression at the hands of the CCP. Throughout 2019, the CCP maintained its comprehensive ban on all religious beliefs, and its persecution of The Church of Almighty God continued to escalate. According to incomplete statistics, in 2019, at least 32,815 CAG Christians were directly persecuted by the authorities simply because of their belief in Almighty God and their engagement in such normal church activities as attending gatherings and preaching the gospel. Among them, 6,132 members were arrested; 3,824 members suffered various forms of torture and forced indoctrination; at least 19 members died as a result of persecution. Due to the fact that all of the CCP’s operations to arrest and persecute Christians were carried out in secret, coupled with its tight controls over information, these data represent merely a portion of the persecution that actually occurred.
Seven primary features of the CCP’s persecution of The Church of Almighty God are identified in the report, including the CCP’s extremely widespread utilization of cutting-edge surveillance tactics to capture Christians. Take Shandong, a Sharp Eyes Project model province, in 2019, after utilizing high-definition cameras to surveil, track, and home in on believers, authorities initiated nearly one hundred arrest operations across the entire province that resulted in the arrest of 924 believers, making up 64.3% of the (1,438) arrests of CAG Christians in the province.
- CAG Christians Sentenced to 7-8 Years After CCP’s Massive Arrest With Hi-tech Surveillance
- Members of The Church of Almighty God on The Run Arrested Through The Use of China’s Global Surveillance System
In 2019, the number of CAG Christians who have been sentenced to jail increased dramatically: 1,355 CAG Christians have been sentenced as far as is known. This is more than double the number that were sentenced in 2018. Among those sentenced in 2019, 64 were given seven or more years, and three were given heavy sentences of 12 years. CAG Christians who have been sentenced and imprisoned are widely subjected to long-term torture and forced indoctrination, and 12 to 20 hours per day of forced labor. Many were injured or disabled as a result. At least five died from torture in custody and deprivation of the right to medical attention.
- 145 Church of Almighty God Members Imprisoned in Shandong
- 68 Church of Almighty God Members Sentenced to Heavy Prison Terms in Xinjiang
- Shanxi: 135 Church of Almighty God Members Arrested in 2 Days
- Five Middle-level Leaders from The Church of Almighty God Sentenced to 11-13 Years by the CCP Government
In 2019 the CCP continued applying pressure on some democratic countries as well as utilizing Communist sympathizers and anti-religion individuals to stage fake demonstrations abroad in an attempt to have CAG Christians who had fled abroad extradited back to China.
The conditions under which the approximately four million CAG Christians in mainland China struggle to practice their faith and lead a normal existence have continued to worsen. Their situation is a great cause for concern. Many international human rights organizations and refugee agencies have condemned the Communist government’s persecution of CAG and called on Governments to grant CAG Christians refugee status. According to sources, on February 5, several NGOs including Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL) from South Korea, and Human Rights Without Frontiers International (HRWF Int’l) and Forum for Religious Freedom Europe (FOREF Europe) from Europe will hold a joint press conference in front of the Chinese embassy in South Korea in support of CAG refugees. Parallel events will be organized in Germany, Italy, and France.
Ms. Zou Demei, a former leader of the CAG in four Chinese provinces who managed to escape to the United States, said, “There are now more than 5,000 CAG refugees overseas. We are grateful to the governments that granted asylum to many of us. But in some countries our applications are still rejected, due to pressure and fake news spread by Chinese agencies, and a local political climate hostile to refugees.”
She added, “Those of us who were compelled to return to China were immediately arrested and sentenced to heavy jail terms, or ‘disappear’ into the deep Chinese concentration camp system, never to reappear. We call on all democratic countries to generously welcome our refugees, and to publicly denounce the persecution of CAG, and of all religions, in Xi Jinping’s China.”
To read 2019 Annual Report, please click:
For more information, please visit the website of The Church of Almighty God:
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the press conference on the release of CAG Annual Report which was planned to be held in front of the Chinese Embassy in Seoul on February 5 unfortunately has to be cancelled.
update：February 3rd 2020