The national crackdown on banned “heterodox teachings” (xie jiao) led to the sentencing of 305 Falun Gong practitioners between April and July 2018.
Bitter Winter has reported on a national plan to crack down in banned religious organizations listed as xie jiao (“heterodox teachings”) and published a secret document calling for increased persecution from April 2018 to January 2019.
Being active in a xie jiao is a crime, punished by article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code with a jail penalty of three to seven years “or more.” Topping the list of xie jiao are Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement.
Despite claims that Falun Gong has been successfully eradicated, the Chinese police keep arresting Falun Gong practitioners, and courts sentence them. Falun Gong reports that from April to July 2018 there were 305 cases of its practitioners sentenced under article 300, 51 in July only (the total number of those sentenced from January to July 2018 is 525). The cases confirm that article 300 is interpreted to the effect that being active in a xie jiao is enough to be sentenced to a jail term. In some cases, even being found in possession of literature published by a xie jiao leads to jail. Article 300 was applied against Ms. Zhu Ya, 54, from Wuhan City, a disabled woman, who was sentenced to eight years after the police found Falun Gong literature in her home.
While the largest number of those arrested in the current anti-xie-jiao crackdown belongs to The Church of Almighty God, Falun Gong continues to be targeted, as well as other groups included in the list of xie jiao, such as the All Ranges (All Sphere) Church and the Shouters.