Christianity under attack in China as bishops ‘harassed and tortured’ | World | News

Religious freedom in China has been a major issue for some time as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) becomes increasingly authoritarian. In its 2021 report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) identified: “Despite the Vatican-China agreement on bishop appointments, Chinese authorities have continued to harass, detain and torture underground Catholic bishops, such as Cui Tai and Huang Jintong. – who refuse to join the state-supported Catholic association. “They also harassed, detained, arrested, and imprisoned members of Protestant house churches who refused to join the state-sanctioned ‘Patriotic Three-Self Movement’.”

He added: “The government has also continued to demolish Catholic and Protestant church buildings and crosses as part of its ‘Sinicization of Religion’ campaign.”

In October last year, Apple took down a Bible app and a Quran app in China at the request of Chinese officials.

Apple directed the BBC to its human rights policy, which says: “We are required to respect local laws, and there are sometimes complex issues that we may disagree with governments and other people about. ‘other stakeholders on the right path forward.’

The Quraan Majeed app reportedly had over five million downloads on the Google Play Store at the time, while Olive Tree’s Bible app had just over a million.

The Quran Majeed app developer told Insider, “According to Apple, our Quran Majeed app has been removed from the Chinese App Store because it includes content that is illegal in China, as determined by the CAC, which is not not conform to app.Store review guidelines.

“We are trying to reach out to the CAC and relevant Chinese authorities to resolve this issue, as nearly one million users of our app in China have been affected.”

While restrictions on religious freedom have been a long-standing problem, in recent years the CCP has become more hostile to religion and launched campaigns to undermine Islam, Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity in order to rid the country. of what he considers to be “foreign” influences.

The revised Religious Affairs Regulations 2018 effectively prohibit “unauthorized” religious education and expand the role of local authorities in controlling religious activities.

In 2019, conditions for religious freedom in China continued to deteriorate.

At the time, the Chinese government continued its installation of surveillance cameras with facial recognition and artificial intelligence to monitor religious minorities.

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And a new regulation requiring religious places to have legal representatives and professional accountants has also come into force.

Some smaller religious venues, especially in rural areas, have found these requirements impossible to meet.

Islam is another religion that has been brutally curtailed in China, with Uyghur Muslims currently the target of genocide.

Human rights groups have raised concerns about concentration camps in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

They believe China has detained more than a million Uyghurs against their will in recent years in a vast network of what the state calls “re-education camps” and sentenced hundreds of thousands of people to prison sentences.

There is also evidence of Uyghurs being used as forced labor and women being forcibly sterilized.

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Some former detainees at the camp also claimed to have been tortured and sexually abused.

China denies all allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, saying its system of “re-education” camps is there to combat separatism and Islamist militancy in the region.

Beijing has also been accused of targeting Muslim religious figures and banning religious practices in the region, as well as destroying mosques and tombs.

There are about 12 million Uyghurs, mostly Muslims, living in Xinjiang.

They speak their own language, which is similar to Turkish, and consider themselves culturally and ethnically closer to the nations of Central Asia than to Han Chinese culture.

They make up less than half of Xinjiang’s population.

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