According to Judith Bergman of the Gatestone Institute, China is ramping up its suppression of religious freedom. During a November 2018 hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the President of the Religious Freedom Institute, Thomas F. Farr, labeled China’s religious suppression as “the most systematic and brutal attempt to control Chinese religious communities since the Cultural Revolution.”
In December of last year, China’s Communist Party (CCP) unveiled the new “Administrative Measures for Religious Groups“. The measures went into effect on February 1, 2020 and demand that religious organizations promote the CCP and its ideology, per a report from Bitter Winter, a magazine covering religious liberty and human rights in China.
According to article 17 of the newly rolled-out measures:
Religious organizations shall spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as national laws, regulations, and rules, to religious staff and religious citizens, and educate and guide religious staff and religious citizens to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, support the socialist system, and adhere to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics…
“In practice, your religion no longer matters, if you are Buddhist, or Taoist, or Muslim or Christian: the only religion allowed is faith in the Chinese Communist Party,” a Catholic priest stated.
The new administrative measures have been packaged with a re-invigorated educational indoctrination program. Bitter Winter points out that in one city schoolchildren were instructed to sign pledges to stay abstain from religious practices. Their parents were sent letters explaining that children cannot be religious “because they are unable to think independently, as they are at a critical stage of development, both physically and mentally, which is crucial for establishing correct outlook on the world, life, and values.”
Additionally, according to Bitter Winter:
“A variety of government-issued documents order schools ‘to make the most of the adolescence’ and ‘increase anti-religious publicity’ by organizing meetings for students and using broadcasts, bulletins, and other means, to achieve ‘the goal of planting anti-religious thoughts into young students’ minds and hearts’… Anti-religious propaganda is also extended to students’ families and society at large, as communities are encouraged to get involved in the indoctrination of the young ‘by setting examples and influencing each other.'”
One mother, who belongs to The Church of Almighty God, claimed that her son told her to abandon her faith after coming back home from school. “My son told me that if I get arrested, our entire family will be finished. He threatened to jump off the building to end his life if I continued practicing my faith,” she recently revealed to Bitter Winter.
The Church of Almighty God (CAG) is a Christian movement recently established in China. Experts contend that it is arguably the most persecuted religious group in China. According to the Church of Almighty God’s 2019 Annual Report on the Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of The Church of Almighty God, “between 2011 and the end of 2019, more than 400,000 CAG Christians were arrested by the Chinese authorities, and it is well-documented that the number of believers who have died as a result of persecution since the Church’s establishment has reached 146.”
In 2019, also according to the report:
…at least 32,815 CAG Christians were directly persecuted by the authorities… because they engaged in such normal church activities as attending gatherings and preaching the gospel… at least 6,132 members have been arrested… with 3,824 members suffering all manner of cruel tortures and forced indoctrination; 1,355 members have been sentenced, with 481 members given severe sentences of 3 years or more, 64 members given sentences of 7 years or more, and 12 members having been sentenced to 10 years or more… at least 19 believers died as a result of persecution… The figures above only represent a portion of the CAG Christians victimized by the CCP during the past year…
China insists that its human rights record should not be called into question. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, “The Chinese people are in the best position to judge China’s human rights condition, which is at its historical best.”
Americans take their rights for granted.
People should be a weary of a world where China is the dominant superpower.
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Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order Keeping Violent Criminals from Going Back on the Streets During the Wuhan Crisis
After the Wuhan Virus was confirmed in several Texas jails in the last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29, 2020 that makes it more difficult for several inmates to be let out on “no-cost, personal recognizance bonds.”
Abbott tweeted, “Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails. We want to prevent the spread of #COVID19 among prison staff & inmates. But, releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution. #txlege #coronavirus”
Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 30, 2020
Several cases of the Wuhan Virus were discovered in the Dallas County Jail and Harris County Jail last week, two of the state’s largest jails. In addition, a handful of cases were confirmed in state prisons. According to NBC DFW, the virus’ outbreak was “followed by demands to reduce the inmate populations by releasing, immediately and without bond or judicial delay, those held on misdemeanor crimes or awaiting trial on misdemeanor crimes. Some also called for non-violent felons to also be released on no-cost bonds.”
Abbott said Sunday that “releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe” and issued a proclamation to prevent judges, and others, from releasing some inmates without a paid, cash bond.
In his executive order, Abbott declared that a person convicted of a crime that involved or threatened physical violence, or a person arrested for such a crime backed by probable cause, or a person with a criminal history of violent crime, cannot get out of jail on a no-cost personal recognizance bond.
With a PR bond, a defendant is released without having to post any money for his or her bond on the promise they’ll show up to their next court date.
Instead of virtue signaling and buying into the criminal justice reform movement’s desire to foment anarcho-tyranny, Abbott has held his ground by promoting public order.
A crisis like the Wuhan Virus pandemic does not need to be exacerbated by opening up the prison floodgates.
This is one case where American policymakers should use logic not emotion to craft prison policies in times of a pandemic.
Failure to do so will put the U.S. on the road to institutional failure.
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