Date: May 29, 2018
ChinaSource, quoting Christian anti-cult ministries, report that a Chinese new religious movement called Ling Ling, better known to scholars as the Efficacious Spirit Teachings movement, worries the authorities in China for its missionary activity through the social network WeChat, which it uses to distribute three PDF texts, Hidden Salvation, The Throne of God, and The Secret (The Astonishing Secrets of the Bible). The documents offer various arguments for the claim that the movement’s founder, Hua Xuehe (1940–2000), a former member of both the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the True Jesus Church, was the Second Coming of Christ and the “Hidden Savior.”
The movement was founded in 1985 according to ChinaSource, although scholarly sources mention the date 1984. The government cracked down on the movement in 1990, and Hua spent several years in a re-education camp, but despite the persecution and the founder’s death in 2000, it is apparently still active.
The Efficacious Spirit Teachings movement is classified by the Chinese government as a xie jiao, an expression often translated as “evil cult” but in fact meaning “heterodox teachings.” Being active in a xie jiao is a crime in China, punished by Art. 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code with a jail penalty of three to seven years “or more.”
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Bitter Winter plans to report on how religions are allowed, or not allowed, to operate in China and how some are severely persecuted after they are labeled as “xie jiao,” or heterodox teachings. We plan to publish news difficult to find elsewhere, analyses, and debates.
Placed under the editorship of Massimo Introvigne, one of the most well-known scholars of religion internationally, “Bitter Winter” is a cooperative enterprise by scholars, human rights activists, and members of religious organizations persecuted in China (some of them have elected, for obvious reasons, to remain anonymous).