Taipei, Mar.3.– The Chinese Communist Party has kept up its broad attack on faith amid the COVID-19 pandemic, burning and trashing religious books while jailing spiritual adherents for possessing religious literature.
While the officially atheist Chinese regime formally recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Christianity, it imposes strict rules over how these religious organizations should operate, and often installs Party cadres to control the entities, forcing millions of spiritual followers to turn underground.
At least 100 million people—or about a third of believers in China—faced “high” or “very high” levels of persecution in 2017, according to estimates by the human rights advocacy group Freedom House estimated. Their plight has continued to worsen, the group found last year.
For the believers—Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, Uyghur Muslims, or Falun Gong practitioners—reading, printing, or distributing religious materials could lead to jail terms, harsh labor, and other forms of abuse. Many are subject to routine monitoring and harassment by state agents, who often raid their homes without warning to seize and destroy their books.
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