Eastern Lightning Is My Salvation

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“I Refused to Go to Seoul”: One Relative Exposes the CCP’s Plot

On July 22, coerced or manipulated relatives of The Church of Almighty God refugees will stage false “spontaneous demonstrations” in Korea. But some relatives refused to go.

Bitter Winter is following closely the CCP’s plot to prevent refugees from The Church of Almighty God (CAG) from obtaining asylum in Korea and have them deported back to China. As we reported, the CCP is continuing to harass China-based relatives of the CAG refugees who live in South Korea—coercing, inciting, and luring them to travel to South Korea to take part in false “spontaneous demonstrations” and protests, in an effort to have the CAG refugees arrested and sent to China.

Bitter Winter has already reported how the CCP once again used intimidation and bribery tactics against the China-based relatives of CAG refugees in South Korea, and will have them visit Seoul from July 22 to 24 to “search for relatives.” South Korean anti-xie jiao and pro-CCP activist O Myung-ok (오명옥), a notorious bigot whose hate speech and activities targeted several Korean minorities, is the organizer and planner of this event in South Korea. She has already announced the schedule for harassing and attacking the CAG refugees there. She also claims that CAG members are dangerous because they co-operate with “Islamic extremists,” by which she means the secular members of the Campaign for Uyghurs, who advocate for the human rights of the Uyghurs detained in the dreaded transformation through education camps in Xinjiang and participated in a conference on June 20 in Seoul together with members of the CAG and who are certainly not “extremists.” Continue reading

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Anti-Refugees “Demonstrations” in South Korea: The Real Story

On September 2–4, 2018, Austrian journalist Peter Zoehrer was an eyewitness to false “spontaneous demonstrations” staged by the CCP and Korean anti-cultists against asylum seekers of The Church of Almighty God in Seoul. He tells the whole story to Bitter Winter.

Bitter Winter reported extensively about the false “spontaneous demonstrations” organized in South Korea between August 30 and September 4 by the Chinese Communist Party and Korean anti-cultists against the asylum seekers of The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement heavily persecuted in China.

We also reported that an Austrian journalist, Peter Zoehrer, was an eyewitness to the events. Zoehrer is also the secretary of FOREF (Forum for Religious Freedom Europe) and has uploaded on FOREF’s YouTube channel videos of the events. We have interviewed Zoehrer in Warsaw, where he was attending the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

You interviewed several members of The Church of Almighty God (CAG) about persecution and torture, what was your experience? Continue reading

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Chinese Religious Persecution, Harassment of Refugees Abroad Denounced in Seoul

A conference co-hosted by Bitter Winter denounced a global CCP campaign aimed at preventing Chinese refugees from persecuted religious groups from being granted asylum abroad.

Persecution Escalating

China is trying to systematically wipe out all religions which are not controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), refugees and human rights experts told a distinguished audience at the conference “The Long Arm of the Dragon: China’s Persecution of Believers at Home and Abroad,” co-hosted in Seoul on June 20 by the Korean NGO Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL), Brussels-based Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), and Bitter Winter. The experts explained how the CCP aggressively pursues religious believers who leave the country and exerts pressure to block foreign governments from granting them refugee status. The conference marked the United Nations’ World Refugee Day, and included an exhibition of pictures about religious persecution in China, most of them taken from Bitter Winter.

The most extensive persecution is against the Muslim majority in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region. “Over three million Uyghur detainees are being held illegally in concentration camps and more are held in detention centers and prisons,” said Nurgul Sawut, Director of the Board for Campaign for Uyghurs. “What is happening is systematic genocide.” Ms. Sawut, who is based in Australia, said that at least 12 of her own family members in China were in the camps or were unaccounted for.

“It is hard for people to acknowledge the scale of repression in China,” said Lee Il, a refugee rights lawyer with APIL in Seoul. “That is partly because the situation of Uyghurs and other victims is not well known. But it is also because it does not fit the image of modern, civilized, hi-tech, secular China.”

“But the facts are very clear. Given the sheer scale, the repression now presents the greatest threat to human rights in this century. One consequence is that democratic countries are having to develop a response to refugees, not just from impoverished and war-torn countries, but from a major trading partner,” he said.

The repression includes a number of other religions, from Tibetan Buddhism to new religions like Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God, said Massimo Introvigne, editor-in-Chief and founder of Bitter Winter. “The Chinese Communist Party has promoted a massive campaign of fake news aimed at justifying its persecution to international audiences,” he said. “They deny, for example, the harvesting of organs from prisoners of conscience, notably members of Falun Gong. They have spread false accusations against The Church of Almighty God, including that its members were responsible for the murder of a woman in a McDonald’s outlet in 2014, a crime in fact committed by a different religious movement.”

“China also claims that Article 300 of its Criminal Code, which punishes those active in a banned religious group with jail penalties from three to seven years or more, is only enforced against those who commit serious crimes,” Introvigne added. “But this is mere propaganda. Hundreds of decisions against Falun Gong practitioners, members of The Church of Almighty God, Shouters, All Range Church, and other Christian churches, and one recent case involving Jehovah’s Witnesses, prove that Article 300 is used against anybody who spreads the beliefs or the literature of a religious group that is banned in China.”

Justice Asked for Refugees

Some 1,000 members of The Church of Almighty God are seeking asylum in Korea. Two of them described their personal experiences of torture at the seminar. Using the pseudonym Xiao Rui, one woman said that during her brutal torture when she was strung up and beaten for 12 hours, a police officer admitted that official orders permitted them to kill victims. “‘It is nothing to beat them to death’ – this has become a (CCP’s) slogan for persecuting Christians,” she said.

Another woman, “Zhao Lin,” also reported that she was arrested and tortured in China. After she fled to South Korea, she said, the CCP coerced her brother, together with family members of other refugees, to come to Seoul and participate in “false demonstrations,” asking her to “come home.” But in fact, she insisted, those refugees who have returned to China have been arrested and sentenced there, meaning that returning to China is not “going home,” but going to jail instead.

According to The Church of Almighty God figures, 20 members died in 2018 during torture or mistreatment by the police officers.

The experts urged governments around the world to accept that religious believers face arrest and torture if they return to China. As the Beijing authorities are using facial recognition cameras and DNA testing to amass data on believers and their families, it is hard for believers to hide in their home country.

“Religious minorities in China are at high risk of being subject to arrest and torture if they remain in China or if they are deported back to China,” said Lea Perekrests, deputy director of Human Rights Without Frontiers. “China vastly exceeds all other countries in the number of freedom of religion or belief prisoners currently being held,” she said.

Among the methods used against religious prisoners, she said, are “constant surveillance, forced administration of drugs, violent interrogation, severe beating, sleep deprivation and use of ‘torture racks.’” “The research is clear and the legal expectations of China and governments hearing asylum cases are clear,” Perekrests said. “States need to abide by international non-refoulement laws and cease the extradition of Chinese asylum-seekers from religious minorities as they are at grave risk of torture and inhumane treatment should they re-enter China.”

The audience was also able to watch two movies produced by Bitter Winter, the first on Tiananmen and religious persecution in China and the second on how the CCP harasses abroad refugees who escaped religious persecution.


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The Church of Almighty God / Eastern Lightning: 10 False Myths

Most of what you find on the Internet about The Church of Almighty God is false. Here is why, and where to look for more reliable information.

Christian, Human Rights, believes , religious freedom, Asylum Seekers,

Table of contents:

Myth 1. The Church of Almighty God Killed a Woman in a Chinese McDonald’s
Myth 2. The Church of Almighty God Is Violent
Myth 3. The Church of Almighty God Kidnaps Christians to Convert Them
Myth 4. The Church of Almighty God Predicted the World Would End in 2012
Myth 5. The Church of Almighty God Brainwashes Its Followers
Myth 6. Church of Almighty God Evangelism is Motivated by Money
Myth 7. The Church of Almighty God Is Against the Family
Myth 8. The Church of Almighty God Advocates a Revolution in China
Myth 9. The Church of Almighty God Is Clearly Not Christian
Myth 10. The Church of Almighty God Is a Cult Continue reading

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Hoisted with Her Own Petard: In Seoul, Freedom Defeats Ms O’s Bigotry

The pro-CCP and anti-cult activist organized a sideshow in front of the Blue House, the residence of the Korean President. She was in for a surprise, as refugees fought back with their own, more successful press conference.

by Massimo Introvigne

But couldn’t you please stop reporting about Ms. O?

Readers of Bitter Winter may start being fed up with Ms. O Myung-ok. The notorious Korean bigot, who tries to stir animosity and hate against all minorities, is not an entertaining subject. Yet, she causes real suffering to harmless, vulnerable human beings, and this is the reason we keep denouncing her nefarious activities.

Take July 22. Despite previous fiascos, Ms. O organized what is her tenth false “spontaneous demonstrations” against refugees from The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in South Korea, who escaped from China where members of their religion are routinely subject to arrest, detention, and torture. The CCP has issued multiple secret documents, calling for a clampdown on CAG refugees around the world. Ms. O may be seen as the manager of the Korean branch of this CCP campaign.

asylum seekers, Christian, human rights , religious persecution, religious freedom, Continue reading

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Confidential Documents Expose CCP’s Plans to Persecute The Church of Almighty God Abroad

CCP collects information on CAG members who fled China, uses agents and online propaganda to harass them. Anyone opposing the persecution deemed hostile to China.

Christian, believers, Church, truth, Faith,

The Church of Almighty God (CAG) is the largest Chinese Christian new religious movement, which, due to its rapid growth, has been regarded as a threat to the CCP. It was included in the list of the xie jiao in 1995 and has become the most targeted and heavily persecuted religious movements in China ever since. Under the CCP’s ruthless oppression, often accompanied by torture and long-term imprisonment, some CAG members have been forced to flee overseas, but the authorities haven’t given up on persecuting them. Continue reading

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Refugees of The Church of Almighty God in Japan

Oral statement of Ms Christine Mirre, of the accredited NGO CAP-LC, at the 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, 13 March 2019.

As of January 2019, 270 members of The Church of Almighty God (CAG), a Chinese Christian new religious movement, have escaped China and applied for asylum in Japan. None of the requests has been granted.

That the CAG is ruthlessly and cruelly persecuted in China is an established fact. The CAG claims that more than 300,000 of its members have been arrested, and scholars regard the figure as credible. There are hundreds of published Chinese court decisions showing that CAG members have been sentenced to heavy jail penalties for the only circumstance of being active in a banned religious organization. NGOs have also reported instances of torture, extra-judicial killings, and organ harvesting. Continue reading

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You Have Got Mail: Massimo Introvigne Writes to Korean Christian Anticult Media

religious persecution, human rights, Christian, Church,

Three Korean Christian media, CBS, CTS, and Kukmin Ilbo, reported on the false demonstrations against The Church of Almighty God in Korea. In a frenzy to attack “cults” with whose theology they disagree, they took the side of the persecutors and the Chinese Communist Party against harmless refugees. We publish the letter our editor-in-chief wrote to them.

Dear Sirs:

I am Managing Director of CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religions, the largest network of scholars studying new religious movements in the world. I am also editor-in-chief of a daily magazine about religious persecution and human rights in China called Bitter Winter. That I am an expert of new religious movements operating in China has been recognized by the Chinese authorities themselves, which have invited me to China repeatedly to lecture on Chinese new religious groups, including The Church of Almighty God (see for example https://kknews.cc/society/rrr2m8o.html).

I have followed your coverage of the demonstrations targeting refugees of The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in South Korea, and I am concerned that inaccurate information was supplied to your readers: Continue reading