Date: May 1, 2018
The Chinese Anti-Xie-Jiao Association, an entity with direct links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) created to generate and spread propaganda against the religious movements the regime has listed and banned as xie jiao (“heterodox teachings,” although the expression is translated as “cults” by the Chinese regime in order to elicit the sympathy of those opposed to “cults” in the West), has promoted outside China the Chinese Anti-Cult World Alliance (“CACWA”). The function of CACWA is to disseminate Chinese propaganda against xie jiao abroad, justify the persecution in China, and disturb the activities of the groups labeled as xie jiao in the countries where they operate. A chapter of CACWA is active in Flushing, New York, which is home to a large Chinese community. It has been sued by members of Falun Gong, one of the religious movements banned as xie jiao in China, who accuse CACWA of being a front for Chinese intelligence and of a number of illegal activities. On April 23, 2018, in an 84-page decision, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York rejected CACWA’s argument that Falun Gong is not a religion and its members have no standing to sue for religious discrimination, and ordered the lawsuit to proceed.
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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).