New Efforts to Hunt Down Believers in Almighty God

An internal Communist Party document reveals a year-long campaign against The Church of Almighty God in the city of Taiyuan in Shanxi.

Bitter Winter obtained an internal document of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government exposing a year-long campaign to crack down on The Church of Almighty God (CAG), a Chinese Christian new religious movement, in the city Taiyuan of Shanxi. According to the document, the campaign, started earlier this year, aims to investigate local communities, as well as neighborhood and village committees for any activities of the Church there. The text also emphasizes efforts to mobilize people to report on believers in Almighty God, even providing rewards for such actions. Authorities have planned to conduct educational activities to show the harms of xie jiao or “evil cults” as the CCP often calls religious movements like The Church of Almighty God. Xie jiao, in fact, translates as heterodox teachings; being active in one them is punishable by law.

After President Xi Jinping came to power, the crackdown on the religious groups listed as xie jiao, has intensified. Bitter Winter recently reported on a classified CCP document, which states that “opposing xie jiao is important for national security, as well as to win over the will of the people.” According to the document, from mid-April 2018 to January 2019, a program of investigation and repression is launched to deal with the issue of xie jiao.

Repression campaigns specifically targeting CAG, like the one in Shanxi, are being implemented in various Chinese provinces. Since May, the government has launched “Operation Thunder,” resulting in mass arrests of CAG members in Chongqing City, Jiangsu Province, Liaoning Province, and Shandong Province.

On June 14, 2018, a member of The Church of Almighty God Lily (pseudonym) from Shanxi was arrested while filling out retirement formalities at her place of work. She was taken to the Taiyuan Public Security Bureau’s police station for interrogation.

According to a CCP official, their investigation has established the fact of Lily’s belief in Almighty God, and therefore she was sent to undergo ideological conversion, during which two local officers, as well as an outside indoctrination expert, used various methods, including lectures on atheism and filling out of questionnaires about her outlook on life and values. Lily was evaluated after the completion of the indoctrination course, and it was decided that she needed more sessions, which she refused.

Twenty days later, Lily was sent to a local detention center; its specific location is unknown. According to a local police officer, “money can be used to atone for all other criminal offenses; only believers in Almighty God are exceptions to this rule, with no one being spared.”

New Efforts to Hunt Down Believers in Almighty God
Communist Party document detailing the campaign against The Church of Almighty God in Shanxi