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China rewrites Bible in line with Communist Party ideology: US Secretary of State accused

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China continues to persecute religious minorities, rewriting the Bible to make it conform to Chinese Marxist doctrine, and sending Uighurs Muslims to re-education camps, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

Speaking during a session at the Values Voter Summit 2020, held virtually, Pompeo said: “We watch today the challenge that Christians and Catholics have to practice their faith inside of China.”

“The Chinese Communist Party is trying to rewrite the Bible itself to ‘Sinicize’ the Christian doctrine,” he added. “That’s unacceptable. That will diminish the Chinese people. We want good things for them.”

China officially recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism. However, the US Department of State’s 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom: China notes that although “the constitution, which cites the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, states that citizens have freedom of religious belief,” it “limits protections for religious practice to “normal religious activities” and does not define “normal.””

It further notes: Only religious groups belonging to the five state-sanctioned “patriotic religious associations” representing these religions are permitted to register with the government and officially permitted to hold worship services. There continued to be reports of deaths in custody and that the government tortured, physically abused, arrested, detained, sentenced to prison, subjected to forced indoctrination in CCP ideology, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices.”

In 2018, The Rev. Bob Fu, a former house church leader who emigrated to the US and founded persecution watchdog China Aid, told Congress that China’s government was enacting a five-year plan to “Sincize” Christianity.

One way they planned to do this was by “retranslating” the Old Testament, and providing new commentary on the New Testament to introduce Buddhist and socialist concepts, making them appear divinely inspired.

“There are outlines that the new Bible should not look Westernized and [should look] Chinese and reflect Chinese ethics of Confucianism and socialism,” Fu told The Christian Post after the hearing. “The Old Testament will be messed up. The New Testament will have new commentaries to interpret it.”
Pompeo also slammed China for “trying to eliminate anyone who is not Han Chinese.”

According to the State Department report, “The US government estimates that since April 2017, the [Chinese] government arbitrarily detained more than one million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Hui, and members of other Muslim groups, as well as Uighur Christians, in specially built or converted internment camps in Xinjiang and subjected them to forced disappearance, political indoctrination, torture, physical and psychological abuse, including forced sterilization and sexual abuse, forced labor, and prolonged detention without trial because of their religion and ethnicity. There were reports of individuals dying as a result of injuries sustained during interrogations.

I believe and President Trump believes that absent of religions freedom, the lives of people around the world are very difficult,” Pompeo said. “Authoritarianism almost always follows the oppression of religion. Pushing religion out of the public square drives oppression, drives authoritarian regimes. And so we have made that a priority.”

He added: “The Chinese Communist Party is seeking hegemony across the world, and we have an obligation to do our best to make sure that the freedoms that we value and the capacity to exercise our human rights aren’t trampled upon by whether that’s their predatory economic activity or their military might or their misinformation campaigns here in the US.

“We work hard to make sure that we maximize religious freedom for every human being all across the world.”

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Christians in Nepal Continue to Face a Context of Growing Persecution

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Nepal– Persecution in Nepal continues to be an increasing concern for the growing Christian population of the predominantly Hindu country. The Global Press Journal recently published an article discussing the story of Pastor Hari Tamang, a current example of this persecution. Pastor Tamang has been falsely charged with trafficking children and attempted conversions after he had agreed to shelter children who would have otherwise been put on the street because their former shelter could not help them any longer. Although the trafficking charges were dropped, Tamang is still years later fighting the charges of attempted conversion of the children.

Nepalese law allows for the free exercise of one’s religion but forbids the conversion of others. This has produced a context of growing tensions in the society. The Nepalese Christian community says that they are holding fast to the principle that Christ calls His followers to share their faith, but choosing to follow Him is an individual choice, not something to be forced on anyone. Nevertheless, this community is consistently accused of forcefully converting.

Similar cases to that of Pastor Tamang have become more common throughout Nepal as the growth of Christianity as skyrocketed. Advocacy organizations estimate that Christians now number between 2 and 3 million throughout Nepal, comprising a larger portion of the Nepalese population than ever before. Nepal’s churches number between 10,000 and 12,000 across the country.

In neighboring India, similar anti-forced conversion laws have been implemented in several states across the country with similar penalties. India, however, has been leading the way in persecuting religious minorities – a trend that only encourages the predominantly Hindu country of Nepal to take similar actions.

The Church also conducts a good deal of aid distribution in communities of need throughout Nepal, which also raises the suspicions of local authorities and devout Hindus who see it as a ploy for conversions. In other words, the charitable actions of the Church are viewed with suspicion. Regardless of this, the Church continues their mission and remains adamant that no forced conversions are taking place, arguing that they are simply fulfilling the teachings of their faith in aiding and serving the poor. The free exercise of religion for Christians means doing exactly that.
Sources:persecution

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A Catholic priest Fr. Regalado has been shot dead in the Philippines

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A Filipino Catholic priest, Fr. Rene Bayang Regalado, was killed on Sunday by a group of gunmen in the town of Malaybalay, in the southern archipelago island of Mindanao.

Fr. Regalado, 42, was found dead at around 8:00 pm along a road near the Malaybalay Carmel Monastery in Patpat village. His body had a bruise near his left eye and a white shoelace was tied on his left hand.

Many believe that Fr. Regalado was returning to the St. John XXIII College Seminary where he was staying.

Killed by unknown gunmen
A statement issued on Monday by the diocese of Malaybalay indicates, according to the initial information gathered, that gunshots were heard on the road near the Malaybalay Carmel Monastery, Patpat, around 7:30 pm on Sunday, prompting the monastery to call the police for assistance.

Soon after, first responders from the local police arrived at the scene of the crime and conducted an initial investigation. Fr. Regalado’s body was then taken to a funeral home in preparation for an autopsy. His car was also taken to the Philippine National Police Headquarters as part of an ongoing official investigation.

Fr. Regalado will be buried at the Malaybalay Catholic cemetery on a date to be determine.Ordained to the priesthood on 18 October 2007, Fr. Regalado finished his baccalaureate degree in Theology at San Isidro College.

He had his pre-college and college seminary formation at St. John XXIII pre-college and college Seminaries in Malaybalay City. He finished his studies in theology at the St. John Mary Vianney Theological Seminary in Camama-an, Cagayan de Oro City.

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