Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: May 30, 2018
Bitter Winter recently received information that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issued a secret document ordering all provinces, cities, and counties to make short films that discredit The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement.
According to sources, on April 4, 2018, in a county of the prefecture-level city of Hechi, three employees from the Hechi City Cultural Center, the county’s Politics and Law Committee, and Cultural Center visited a local resident, inquiring him about his knowledge of The Church of Almighty God. Their aim was to collect information for short film scripts that smear The Church of Almighty God. The Hechi City Cultural Center employee said, “The Central Committee has issued a secret document to all cities and counties requiring us to write this kind of film script.”
He later discussed with the other two officials to see whether there were homicide cases they could incorporate into their scripts. During their discussion, they proposed to lay the blame of the “May 28 McDonald’s Murder Case” and another homicide, which happened in Fengshan County, Hechi, on The Church of Almighty God. In the end, they decided on the plot of the script: the protagonist (the local resident they visited) abandons his family after starting to believe in Almighty God, resulting in subsequent destituteness. Later, the CCP arrests and re-educates him. He then finds a job to take care of his family and builds a house.
Bitter Winter has learned that similar incidents also took place in Chengdu, Sichuan. At the end of October 2017, the Sichuan Public Security Bureau arrested a Christian from The Church of Almighty God and brought him to a private house. Some employees of the Bureau, responsible for making videos that discredit The Church of Almighty God were also there. They asked the arrested Christian to work with them in writing movie scripts and making videos that would later be posted online. The Christian rejected their request.
According to sources, from May 2017 to March 2018, a total of 10 short films and 15 video clips discrediting The Church of Almighty God were posted on the Internet.
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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).