religious freedom

22 Imprisoned for Religious Activities in Xinjiang

On November 10, the People’s Court of Kashgar in Xinjiang in northwest China sentenced 22 people to prison terms for their religious activities. The sentences ranged from five to 16 years. The crimes included “impersonating imams,” “illegal religious activities,” and “inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination.”   This is the Chinese Communist Party’s newest round of crackdown on Islam – the religious belief held by Uighurs in the Xinjiang region. 

Zhejiang Province Authorities Target Another Church in Crackdown on Public Display of Religious Symbols

On Monday, public security officials in the city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province demolished the ten-foot crucifix that had been placed on the roof of the Longgang Township Gratitude Church. The destruction of the Church’s rooftop cross, the sole religious symbol affixed to the exterior of the building, is only the latest in a string of demolitions of Christian symbols ordered by governments in Zhejiang Province. Since early spring, Zhejiang authorities have issued demolition notices to more than 100 churches, asserting that their displays of religious iconography violate zoning laws.

Obama talks Internet Freedom, Freedom of Religion in Shanghai

On his visit to Shanghai, President Obama defended internet and religious freedoms during a townhall forum with around 400 Shanghai students.  "These freedoms of expression and worship, of access to information and political participation, we believe are universal rights," the president said, referring to four rights curtailed in China.

Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government was at work to censor the President's anti-censorship message, blocking internet portals that streamed the event.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, "Chinese censors blocked Facebook and YouTube, limiting coverage to local TV and China's official news agency." To see the president's message, view the videos below: