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visited on 3 27 2015, of Christianity or even heretical since they have adopted some unorthodox beliefs and. practices and use a non standard edition of the Bible The group is illegal in China and there. have been reports of arrests of group members for over 20 years. A 1994 paper on the group by Human Rights Watch states. The Shouters who refer to themselves simply as Christians were an outgrowth of an indigenous. Chinese religious sect variously known as the Local Church the Assembly Church. Christian Assemblies or the Little Flock The original group particularly strong in the. provinces of Zhejiang Henan Fujian and Guangdong was founded in 1922 and is associated with. the religious philosophy of Ni Tuosheng 1903 1972 better known as Watchman Nee. Imprisoned in 1952 during a government campaign aimed at the bourgeois private sector Ni. was accused of having stolen a huge amount of national medicine information and property. He was sentenced in 1956 to a fifteen year term as head of a counterrevolutionary clique and died. shortly after his delayed release in 1972 2, Ni s disciple Li Changshou or Witness Li who differed with Ni on tactics and doctrine was. primarily responsible for organizing the Shouter splinter movement Its roots date back to the. mid 1930s when Local Church congregants added external vocalizations such as Oh Oh Lord. and Amen to quiet prayer, The Shouter creed is evangelical mystical subjective intuitive apocalyptic and individual 3. According to Shouter literature believers reject any human thought that goes beyond what the. Bible says because they consider it the completed divine revelation Thus Bible reading is central. to religious practice and it is the duty of every Shouter to go out and preach the gospel to relatives. neighbors friends and colleagues The Shouters then nourish the converted by visiting their. homes regularly and leading them in Bible reading singing and prayer Members meet in small. groups with neither appointed speakers or teachers Anyone moved to preach can although it is. usually the already recognized leaders or elders who do so There is no professional ministry and. each local group is autonomous Congregants meet clandestinely in each others homes hence. they are categorized with other Protestants who resist association with the official Chinese. Christian Church as house church members, The Shouter creed has brought its members into open conflict with the Three Self Patriotic. Movement TSPM the official body responsible under the Religious Affairs Bureau RAB for. monitoring all Protestant affairs The intrusion of Party doctrine and politics into religion in the. official churches violates the sect s principle that the church is not and should not be a human. institution The Shouters interest lies strictly in Bible study they eschew involvement with broad. social political or economic matters and resist participating in socialist campaigns The. evangelical nature of Shouter practices violates the Religious Affairs Bureau s three fix policy. Shouters also resist government restrictions on what legitimately can be preached in particular. they resent government curbs on sermons dealing with the second coming a central tenet of. Shouter faith The Chinese government regards the belief in a second coming as inherently. antithetical to development in fact to the very need for development Human Rights Watch Asia. 1994 China Persecution of a Protestant Sect June Vol 6 No 6 Attachment 1. Two RRT Research Responses while not particularly recent are very comprehensive in. providing details of the history beliefs and practices of the Shouters and the attitude of the. Chinese authorities towards them Any attachments to these responses can be provided on. A 1999 response covers, x The various other names by which the group is known Section 1B.
visited on 3 27 2015, x Its relationship to or identity with other groups following the same tradition called. the Local Church Local Assemblies Christian Assemblies Assembly Hall and Little. x Its history and founders 1D and leaders 1E, x Beliefs and practices of the Little Flock and the Shouters and differences between the. older and newer groups 1F, x Regions where they are most prevalent of note is the fact that Fujian is one of the. main provinces in which Shouter activity has been reported 1G. x Its influence on other groups 1H, x The attitude of the Chinese authorities Question 2 3. x Reports of arrest and harassment of Shouters from 1983 onwards including a 1996. incident in Fujian Question 4 RRT Country Research 1999 Research Response. CHN13854 17 December Attachment 2, It is of relevance to this request that Question 5 of the above response focuses on Fujian.
Province stating that Fujian was a stronghold of the Little Flock beliefs before the. Communist takeover and remains a strong area of Little Flock belief today The group s. founder Watchman Nee was from Fujian Fujian is said to be one area where the Shouters. are active and from where there have been reports of government harassment of Shouter. groups Please see the full response for further notes and references on Fujian RRT Country. Research 1999 Research Response CHN13854 17 December Attachment 2. A 2003 RRT Research Response provides at Question 1 further information on the. Shouters Local Church including the fact that many regard them as a cult of Christianity. Question 2 provides further reports on the attitude of the Chinese authorities and recent. arrests including several about a Hong Kong businessman Lai Kwong keung and two other. Shouters who were sentenced to prison in a Fujian court for smuggling bibles into China. Other arrests in Fujian are also mentioned RRT Country Research 2003 Research Response. CHN16195 29 September Attachment 3, 2 Are they illegal in the PRC and do they operate underground. Little detailed recent information was found on the Shouters The reports below indicate that. the group is still illegal and operates underground and that along with other banned groups. they have been subject to crackdowns by the Chinese authorities in recent years. The 2005 US Department of State report on human rights in China states in the section on. The authorities continued a general crackdown on groups considered to be cults Premier. Wen Jiabao in his address to the NPC in March stressed that government agencies should. strengthen their anti cult work These cults included not only Falun Gong and various traditional. Chinese meditation and exercise groups known collectively as qigong groups but also religious. groups that authorities accused of preaching beliefs outside the bounds of officially approved. doctrine Groups that the Government labeled cults included Eastern Lightning the Servants of. visited on 3 27 2015, Three Classes the Shouters the South China Church the Association of Disciples the Full Scope. Church the Spirit Sect the New Testament Church the Way of the Goddess of Mercy the Lord. God Sect the Established King Church the Unification Church and the Family of Love. Authorities accused some in these groups of lacking proper theological training preaching the. imminent coming of the Apocalypse or holy war or exploiting the reemergence of religion for. personal gain The Eastern Lightning group was accused by the Government and some other. unregistered Christian groups of involvement in violence. Actions against such groups continued during the year In April over 100 members of the. evangelical group the Servants of Three Classes were detained in Harbin Heliongjiang. Province Most were released but Gu Xianggao died in custody allegedly as a result of beatings. by police see Section 1 c Police also continued their efforts to close down an underground. evangelical group called the Shouters an offshoot of a pre 1949 indigenous Protestant. group In 2001 Gong Shengliang founder of the South China Church was sentenced to death on. criminal charges including rape arson and assault In 2002 an appeals court overturned his death. sentence and Gong was sentenced to life in prison In the retrial four women from his. congregation claimed that prior to the first trial police had tortured them into signing statements. accusing Gong of raping them The four women who were found not guilty of cultist activity in. the retrial were nonetheless immediately sent to reeducation through labor camps In the retrial. the court also dropped all evil cult charges against the South China Church During the year. elderly church member Chen Jingmao reportedly was abused in prison for attempting to convert. inmates to Christianity US Department of State 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights. Practices 2004 China 28 February Attachment 4, The US Department of State report on religious freedom for 2004 contains little detail on the. Shouters in particular but does state, The Government continued its repression of groups that it categorized as cults in general and of. the Falun Gong in particular The arrest detention and imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners. continued Practitioners who refuse to recant their beliefs are sometimes subjected to harsh. treatment in prisons and reeducation through labor camps and there have been credible reports of. deaths due to torture and abuse Christian based groups that the Government considered cults. were subjected to increased government scrutiny during the period covered by this report. US Department of State 2004 International Religious Freedom Report 2004 China 15. September Attachment 5, Also relevant is this extract from the same report which indicates a hardening of government.
attitudes towards religious cults, In November 2003 the CCP Central Committee held a high level meeting in Beijing attended by. Politburo members and other high ranking officials responsible for overseeing religion In January. a national work conference on religion organized by SARA was held to outline concrete actions to. strengthen religious work The conference advised that officials should guard against. Christian influenced cults and avoid negative influences including foreign infiltration under. cover of religion Conference attendees also raised concern about circulation of foreign religious. materials addressing the growth of Christianity in the country including a documentary film. entitled The Cross and a book entitled Jesus in Beijing Subsequently many provinces. convened their own local work conferences For example in February the Fujian Province. conference noted that unauthorized establishment of religious venues and icons interferes with the. Government s administration of religious affairs affects the normal activities of patriotic religious. groups helps the development of evil cults and illegal religious powers and gives foreign. countries opportunities to conduct religious penetration The 2004 national work conference was. a contrast to a landmark 2001 conference at which President Jiang Zemin spoke about the. sustained role of religion in society and raised questions about the traditional Marxist concept of. visited on 3 27 2015, opposing religion US Department of State 2004 International Religious Freedom Report 2004. China 15 September Attachment 5, Apart from these reports no recent material was found on the Shouters. A recent article for the New York Times is of general interest as it discusses the growth of. religious cults in China in recent years Kahn J 2004 Violence taints religion s solace for. China s poor The New York Times 25 November Attachment 6. 3 Is there any particular information about their activities in the Fuqing City area. It was noted in the answer to Question 1 that Fujian Province is regarded as a stronghold of. Shouter belief and that the founder of the group Watchman Nee came from Fujian. The following reports refer specifically to Fuqing City which is in Fujian Province. A 2002 report from the Christian newsletter Compass Direct states that the Hong Kong. businessman arrested for smuggling bibles was taking them to Shouters in Fuqing where the. group is very strong Li was later released and allowed to return to Hong Kong. Li or Lai Kwong keung in Cantonese and two others Lu Zhudi and Linxifu were arrested in. May 2001 when Li tried to transport 16 280 copies of the Bible to Fuqing county in Fujian. province Li had reportedly already taken 16 800 copies into China in April On December 10. 2001 the local court at Fuqing accused them of belonging to an evil cult and of distributing. cultic material This indictment came at a time when China s top leaders had called for a renewed. crackdown on all cults and for tighter control of religious affairs. Li was seeking to supply copies of the Recovery Version of the Bible published with notes by. Witness Lee to members of the Local Church in Fujian Fuqing county may have nearly 100 000. members of this church Proscribed and persecuted for nearly 20 years inside China as a cult the. Local Church is popularly known as The Shouters for shouting God s name at their meetings. Witness Lee was the right hand man of the much better known Watchman Nee who founded the. church in Fujian province in the 1930s While Nee died a martyr in a Chinese labor camp in 1972. Lee went on to organize the church into a tight knit structure controlled from his headquarters in. Anaheim California Mei Xu 2002 Bible smuggler sentenced to jail Compass Direct 15. February Attachment 7, A 2004 report described the release of one of the three who were arrested Yu Zhudi. Amnesty International Human Rights Watch US Province Most were released but Gu Xianggao died in custody allegedly as a result of beatings by police see Section 1 c Police also continued their efforts to close down an underground evangelical group called the Shouters an offshoot of a pre 1949 indigenous Protestant group In 2001 Gong Shengliang founder of the South China

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