As a commentary to our coverage of the recent crackdown on The Church of Almighty God, we publish the text and the video of the speech by a representative of that Church at the rally in Geneva on November 6, 2018 during the Universal Periodic Review of China.
Hello, everyone! I am a Christian from The Church of Almighty God. Today, when China comes before the UN for its UPR, the Universal Periodic Review, it’s my great honor to be here with so many organizations and associations that share the concerns about human rights in China and call for more attention to the issue of religious liberty.
I salute the bravery of millions of Uyghur and other Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians of the house churches, and human right activists who keep their faith while subjects to persecution, arrest, torture, and the inhumane treatment in the dreaded “transformation through education” camps.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) publishes from 1995 a list of groups it defines as xie jiao. This term is often translated as “evil cults” but in fact means “heterodox teachings.” Definitions of this concept are vague and in fact the groups listed as xie jiao are simply religious movements the government perceives as hostile and dangerous.
My Church, The Church of Almighty God, has been founded in China in 1991 and has been listed as a xie jiao in 1995. We are a Christian new religious movement, and we believe that Christ has returned as Almighty God, lives with us today, and teaches the fullness of truth. We were blessed with a quick, spectacular growth. In 2014, Chinese government sources stated that we had reached the mark of four million members in Mainland China.
Not only the CCP persecutes us, it has also launched a spectacular campaign of fake news against our Church, accusing us of causing riots and even of a homicide. Thanks to God, Western scholars started publishing serious independent studies about our Church in the last few years, and proved conclusively that the accusations are false.
The reason the CCP persecutes us is that as an atheistic regime it hates our theology, and it is afraid of our fierce independence from state control and rapid growth. At least 400,000 brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God have been arrested. At least 43,000 have been subjected to torture and in preparation to the Universal Periodic Review of China respected NGOs have documented some 80 cases of persecution to death in jail. 600,000 members of our Church have left their homes and are on the run to avoid arrest. Several thousands have escaped abroad, where often their refugee status is not recognized, due to false information about our Church, Chinese pressures, and a general hostility to refugees.
Sworn declarations and documents submitted to the Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review tell the horrific stories of how many, too many of our brothers and sisters in China are hunted like beasts, beaten, tortured. Women have been raped in jail, and in several cases traces of suspect organ harvesting were found on the bodies of those who died in prison.
Today, we stand as one, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, women and men of integrity, to demand that the crimes of the CCP are finally recognized, the torturers and assassins held accountable, the refugees recognized as such, and the voice of liberty resonates at the United Nations.