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Religious Freedom Eroding Fast, Warns U.S. Group

SITUATION CRITICAL: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM UNDER SIEGE: Media ministry SAT-7 USA (www.sat7usa.org) warns religious freedom is under increasing attack. Globally, an estimated 80% of people of all faiths face restrictions on freely expressing their religious beliefs, the organization says.

EASTON, MD — A U.S. media ministry warns religious freedom is under increasing pressure — fast reaching a tipping point it describes as “situation critical.” Globally, an estimated 80% of people of all faiths face restrictions on freely expressing their religious beliefs, says SAT-7 USA (www.sat7usa.org), a Christian media broadcaster in the Middle East and… Continue reading Religious Freedom Eroding Fast, Warns U.S. Group

IRF Summit 2022 Convenes Civil Society Congress to Innovate and Develop Solutions for Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON — In recent years levels of persecution and restriction based on faith or belief have increased around the world. This is despite a growing movement of people who are committed to protecting this fundamental human right. It is time to think big for religious freedom. The International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2022 will convene… Continue reading IRF Summit 2022 Convenes Civil Society Congress to Innovate and Develop Solutions for Religious Freedom

Persecuted Religious Groups Speak up for Each Other on Capitol Hill, Urges Congress to Protect Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON — On June 27, one day ahead of the International Religious Freedom Summit 2022, the summit is hosting a Congressional Advocacy Day to encourage convening organizations to present their causes and discuss religious freedom concerns with members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill. The day will kick off with a breakfast meeting… Continue reading Persecuted Religious Groups Speak up for Each Other on Capitol Hill, Urges Congress to Protect Religious Freedom

The International Religious Freedom Summit Returns to DC June 28-30

Photo by IRF Summit, Facebook

WASHINGTON — On June 28-30 religious freedom leaders, advocates and activists from around the world, spanning a wide range of faith traditions and political affiliations, will gather in Washington, D.C., for the second annual International Religious Freedom Summit. The Summit will highlight increasing threats to freedom of religion, conscience and belief, and it will once… Continue reading The International Religious Freedom Summit Returns to DC June 28-30

Ahead of International Religious Freedom Summit 2021, Diverse Coalition of Over 70 Religious and Civil-society Groups Issue ‘A Charter of Religious Freedom’

WASHINGTON — Ahead of the International Religious Freedom Summit 2021 (IRF Summit), co-chairs Samuel Brownback and Katrina Lantos Swett, along with the Summit’s over 70 partner organizations around the world, have issued A Charter of Religious Freedom, calling for the protection of the universal human rights of religion, thought and conscience: A CHARTER OF RELIGIOUS… Continue reading Ahead of International Religious Freedom Summit 2021, Diverse Coalition of Over 70 Religious and Civil-society Groups Issue ‘A Charter of Religious Freedom’

Young Leaders Track of International Religious Freedom Summit 2021 to Train Teenagers and Young Adults to Advocate for Survivors of Religious Persecution

WASHINGTON — As part of International Religious Freedom Summit 2021, young leaders ages 15 to 35 are invited to participate in the Young Leaders Track, chaired by Nguyen Dinh Thang, president and CEO of Boat People SOS (BPSOS). The Young Leaders Track will take place Tuesday, July 13 through Thursday, July 15 virtually and at… Continue reading Young Leaders Track of International Religious Freedom Summit 2021 to Train Teenagers and Young Adults to Advocate for Survivors of Religious Persecution

FRC Welcomes State Dept.’s Addition of Nigeria to List of World’s Worst Religious Freedom Violators

WASHINGTON — Family Research Council (FRC) today applauded the U.S. State Department for adding Nigeria to its list of “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPCs) for the first time. A CPC designation is given by the U.S. Secretary of State to a nation whose government is engaged in or tolerates severe violations of religious freedom under the… Continue reading FRC Welcomes State Dept.’s Addition of Nigeria to List of World’s Worst Religious Freedom Violators

Webinar Offers ‘Critical’ Advice to Churches Facing Religious Freedom Issues

WEBINAR TARGETS CHURCHES FACING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ISSUES: Boys adventure movement Trail Life USA (www.TrailLifeUSA.com) will host a free webinar to help churches address liabilities they may face in the wake of Boy Scouts of America's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing earlier this year, and challenges to religious freedoms that cloud the horizon. Church leaders can register at www.TrailLifeUSA.com/ReligiousFreedom.

GREENVILLE, SC — The Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on the Family, and the Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention will participate in an upcoming webinar Dec. 9 hosted by boys adventure movement Trail Life USA (www.TrailLifeUSA.com) to help churches address liabilities they may face in the wake of Boy Scouts of America’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing… Continue reading Webinar Offers ‘Critical’ Advice to Churches Facing Religious Freedom Issues

2020 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON, DC – Its 2020 Annual Report on international freedom of religion has been made available to the public by the USCIRF. Various media reports have created confusion concerning the publication, with some referring to it as “the 2019 report” and others as “the 2020 report.” For clarification, the title of the 104-page document is… Continue reading 2020 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

U.S. Advancing Religious Freedom Issues in Nigeria

WASHINGTON — The International Committee on Nigeria (ICON), a nonprofit working to secure a future for all Nigerians, released a statement today, applauding a new executive order signed by President Trump advancing international religious freedom. The order directs the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to take action to… Continue reading U.S. Advancing Religious Freedom Issues in Nigeria

Pakistan Minorities Commission Enacts New Religious Freedom Law

The long-awaited National Commission for Minorities, now inaugurated in Pakistan on 5 May, has been welcomed as “an important step” in the country’s “continuing journey towards the protection of religious freedom” by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Commissioner Johnnie Moore added that the formation of the minorities commission is “undoubtedly a… Continue reading Pakistan Minorities Commission Enacts New Religious Freedom Law

President Protects Religious Freedom in Social Services

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WASHINGTON — On Religious Freedom Day, January 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a rule that implements President Trump’s executive order that removes current regulatory burdens on religious organizations and ensures that religious and non-religious organizations are treated equally in HHS-supported programs. This rule protects HHS-supported religious social service… Continue reading President Protects Religious Freedom in Social Services

Sudan Removed from State Dept. List of Worst Religious Freedom Violators after Dictator Ousted

The U.S. State Department removed Sudan from its list of governments that are engaging in or tolerating systemic and ongoing religious freedom violations and has placed Nigeria, Cuba, and Nicaragua on a special watch list for “severe violations of religious freedom” for the first time. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday the State Departments’… Continue reading Sudan Removed from State Dept. List of Worst Religious Freedom Violators after Dictator Ousted

NHCLC and Alliance Defending Freedom Partner to Defend Religious Freedom in the US

SACRAMENTO, CA — The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), led by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, has recently announced a partnership with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to offer legal aid to its member congregations. The partnership – which will allow NHCLC member churches throughout the U.S. to access religious freedom legal help at a discounted rate… Continue reading NHCLC and Alliance Defending Freedom Partner to Defend Religious Freedom in the US

Pompeo Speech Defends Religious Freedom

ROME – When the United States Secretary of State speaks, it is usually about political affairs of state. When Mike Pompeo addressed a symposium in Rome on October 2, his message was about increasing global threats to the right of religious freedom. Secretary Pompeo was a featured speaker at a symposium about the work of… Continue reading Pompeo Speech Defends Religious Freedom

Christian Employers Alliance Wins Major Victory in Religious Freedom Lawsuit

EVERETT, WA— The Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) has won a major religious freedom victory on behalf of its current and future members. The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota has ruled that the abortifacient mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as the subsequent “accommodation,” burdens the religious exercise… Continue reading Christian Employers Alliance Wins Major Victory in Religious Freedom Lawsuit

Family Research Council’s Travis Weber Speaks at the Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum

WASHINGTON —Travis Weber, Vice President for Policy and Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, spoke in Taiwan at the Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum (TIRFF) on the importance of promoting religious freedom around the world, particularly in China. The conference is a joint effort of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan,… Continue reading Family Research Council’s Travis Weber Speaks at the Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum

Religious Freedom Report Offers Grim Review Of Attacks On Faith Groups

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has released its annual report in the aftermath of attacks on mosques in New Zealand, churches in Sri Lanka and synagogues in the United States. “It’s coming at a time when religious freedom concerns, for lots of reasons, are getting more attention across the board,” USCIRF Commissioner Johnnie… Continue reading Religious Freedom Report Offers Grim Review Of Attacks On Faith Groups

USCIRF Report: China, Two Dozen Other Countries Top Religious Freedom Offenders List

WASHINGTON — With its particular focus on China’s oppression of religious and human rights, an independent watchdog group has decried in its annual report the state of religious freedom across the globe. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan organization created 20 years ago, concludes in its Monday (April 29) report that “innumerable… Continue reading USCIRF Report: China, Two Dozen Other Countries Top Religious Freedom Offenders List

Australia Politicians Debate Religious Freedoms

CANBERRA – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison published an open letter this week to “Australians of all faiths.” The catalyst for the letter is the parliamentary debate on freedom of religion versus discrimination against sexual orientation in religious schools and institutions. A Missions Box report published on October 17, 2018, asked the question, “Australia: Can… Continue reading Australia Politicians Debate Religious Freedoms

Still No Churches in Saudi Arabia, But Small Steps Toward Religious Freedom

Saudi Arabia has made unprecedented strides toward religious tolerance just a year after its young new ruler pledged to bring more moderate Islam to the Sunni kingdom. After a visit to the capital city of Riyadh last week, US officials reported the country has reformed its religious police—once tasked with enforcing shari’ah law on the… Continue reading Still No Churches in Saudi Arabia, But Small Steps Toward Religious Freedom

“Lack of Religious Freedom Anywhere Is a Threat Everywhere”

WASHINGTON, DC – Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom open the first meeting of a three-day Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom conference in Washington DC sponsored by the U.S. State Department. In his opening speech on 24 July, he said, ‘ The lack of religious freedom anywhere is a threat everywhere.” His… Continue reading “Lack of Religious Freedom Anywhere Is a Threat Everywhere”

NGOs Present Proposal to UN on Religious Freedom in Malaysia

GENEVA – A group of five NGOs met with UN officials on 06 March to discuss the recent case of four Malaysian Christians requesting changes on their national identity cards. The federal court in Sarawak refused to rule on their appeal on 26 February (see “Malaysia High Court Dismisses Christians’ Appeal”). The meeting took place… Continue reading NGOs Present Proposal to UN on Religious Freedom in Malaysia

[UPDATE] Brownback Confirmed as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

Nominee Sam Brownback

WASHINGTON – Earlier this month, we reported that confirmation of President Trumps nominee for the position of U.S. Ambassador-at-Large, Kansas governor, Sam Brownback had been stalled in the Senate. The president had nominated Brownback in July 2017. The nomination expired when Congress adjourned for the holidays without voting on the matter. President Trump resubmitted Brownback’s… Continue reading [UPDATE] Brownback Confirmed as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

President Trump’s Nominee for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Stalled

Nominee Sam Brownback

News from the nation’s capital has Americans attuned to the battles between Republican and Democrats and liberals and conservatives over immigration, tax reform, healthcare, and government spending. Regardless of the subject at hand, until the recent passage of the tax reform bill, issues that many believe should be of major importance to America and the… Continue reading President Trump’s Nominee for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Stalled

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NRB Resolves that “Religious Liberty & Freedom of Speech Must Prevail”

The Roberts Court, November 30, 2018. Seated, from left to right: Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel A. Alito. Standing, from left to right: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett M. Kavanaugh. Photograph by Fred Schilling, Supreme Court Curator's Office.

NASHVILLE, TN – On the last Friday of February, the Resolutions Committee of the National Association of Religious Broadcasters (NRB) published six significant resolutions in conjunction with its annual convention in Nashville.The sixth and final resolution applies to the preservation of certain inalienable rights recognized by the United States Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.The… Continue reading NRB Resolves that “Religious Liberty & Freedom of Speech Must Prevail”

ECHR Rules: Turkey Violated Freedom of Religious Assembly

STRASBOURG – The European Court of Human Rights has rendered a judgment against Turkey in the case of Altınkaynak and Others v. Turkey. The court ruled that Turkey had violated the rights of a group of Seventh Day Adventists in 2004 when they attempted to register their religious foundation. Although Turkey ratified the European Convention… Continue reading ECHR Rules: Turkey Violated Freedom of Religious Assembly

Film Competition Explores How Women’s Rights and Freedom of Belief are Inseparable

FALLS CHURCH, VA — In honor of International Women’s Day, Empower Women Media and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation announce their 4th annual International Film Competition. The goal of the competition is to challenge filmmakers around the world to produce short films that explore how freedom of belief in the workplace and community empowers… Continue reading Film Competition Explores How Women’s Rights and Freedom of Belief are Inseparable

Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List to Reveal How COVID and Technology Accelerate Spread of Anti-Religious Bigotry; Digital Press Conference, Jan 13

SANTA ANA, CA — This week, persecution watchdog Open Doors USA will announce the 2021 World Watch List, its anticipated annual ranking of the top 50 countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian – and provide a surprising update on significant shifts in the landscape of Christian persecution worldwide. Open Doors USA… Continue reading Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List to Reveal How COVID and Technology Accelerate Spread of Anti-Religious Bigotry; Digital Press Conference, Jan 13

IFCJ Provides Freedom Flight to Nearly 200 Ukrainian Jews, Airlifting Them to Israel

JERUSALEM — One year after the sudden passing of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is hosting a Freedom Flight in memory of their late founder. The Fellowship chartered three planes arriving from Ukraine with 186 Ukrainian immigrants to Israel (olim) on February 24. Fellowship President and CEO Yael Eckstein and… Continue reading IFCJ Provides Freedom Flight to Nearly 200 Ukrainian Jews, Airlifting Them to Israel

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Foundation Defends Schools’ Religious Liberty

MONTGOMERY, AL — The Foundation for Moral Law, an Alabama-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense of religious liberty and the strict interpretation of the Constitution as intended by its Framers, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on February 6, 2020, supporting the right of two schools to dismiss teachers whose duties… Continue reading Foundation Defends Schools’ Religious Liberty

NHCLC Partners with Leading Churches to Advocate for Life, Religious Liberty and Biblical Justice

SACRAMENTO, CA — The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is launching a series of nationwide campaigns to protect the sanctity of human life, defend religious liberty and advocate for biblical justice. The campaigns, drawn from the NHCLC’s life, religious liberty and biblical justice directives, are a collaborative effort with some of the most influential… Continue reading NHCLC Partners with Leading Churches to Advocate for Life, Religious Liberty and Biblical Justice

Government Restrictions Against Freedom of Religion Are Growing Globally

WILLS POINT, TX – The closure of yet another Christian church and its Bible school by authorities in Algeria spurred one of our reporters to dig a little deeper. He decided to investigate government restrictions and political persecution against the Church. He didn’t have to look far. A recent report by the Pew Research Center… Continue reading Government Restrictions Against Freedom of Religion Are Growing Globally

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Documentary Debut Recounts Stories of Religious Persecution, Courage and Hope

WASHINGTON D.C. — “Christians in the Mirror: Stories of Courage and Faith in the Face of Persecution From Syria, Iraq, India, Sudan and Egypt” will premiere Monday, June 10 at the Miracle Theatre in Washington D.C. from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Joshuacord, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is honored to share with the community this one-of-a-kind film… Continue reading Documentary Debut Recounts Stories of Religious Persecution, Courage and Hope

Religious Persecution in Mexico?

CHIAPAS – It is amazing how much we do not know about our USA neighbors to the immediate north and south. We are especially ignorant of religious persecution against Protestants and Evangelicals in Mexico. Some will be surprised at the allegation because they think that Mexico is a Christian country. Accepting the fact that there… Continue reading Religious Persecution in Mexico?

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Secular View of Freedom of Religion Is Spreading

Religious freedom, i.e., the separation of church and state appears to be gaining greater legal standing around the globe. Yet, according to the latest Open Doors World Watch List, persecution of Christians is on the rise. Christians are not the only ones being persecuted. People of any faith who are in the minority are increasingly… Continue reading Secular View of Freedom of Religion Is Spreading

Maintenance of Religious Harmony in Malaysia and Singapore

SINGAPORE – Maintenance of religious harmony. It sounds wonderful. An idea that promotes people getting along together. True freedom of religion. But the artwork of legislative ambiguity is misleading in many countries, such as Malaysia and Singapore, the city-state at the southern end of Malaysia. Two men and two women, residents of Finland, were detained… Continue reading Maintenance of Religious Harmony in Malaysia and Singapore

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Bibles For The World Encourages and Equips Chinese Believers in Light of New Policy Governing Religious Belief

Chinese Christians celebrate receiving a Bible from Bibles For The World–for many of them, the first time they have ever had their own copy of God’s Word.

Using nationals to reach nationals, organization promotes evangelism and Bible distribution under stricter laws COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As the Chinese government clarifies its religious beliefs policy, Bibles For The World (BFTW) President John Pudaite says his organization will focus on the urgent need for effective Scripture distribution while helping believers understand their religious rights. According to Pudaite,… Continue reading Bibles For The World Encourages and Equips Chinese Believers in Light of New Policy Governing Religious Belief

Freedom of Religion Endangered by New Law in Laos

VIENTIANE – The constitution of the nation of Laos guarantees its citizens freedom of religion. Specifically, it recognizes their “right and freedom to believe or not to believe in religion.” In addition, Laos is “a state party” to the seven core international human rights treaties under which they are obligated to “respect, protect, and fulfill… Continue reading Freedom of Religion Endangered by New Law in Laos

UK Parliament Considers Call for UN International Day Commemorating Victims & Survivors of Religious Persecution

LONDON – British MP (Member of Parliament), Fiona Bruce tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 1478) on 03 July 2018 proposing that the UK develop better mechanisms for tracking incidents of religious persecution and that it develop “strategic action plans” to prevent the escalation of those incidents into “mass atrocities.” Further, the motion calls upon… Continue reading UK Parliament Considers Call for UN International Day Commemorating Victims & Survivors of Religious Persecution

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Pew Research Center Releases Latest Report on Global Religious Restrictions

WASHINGTON DC – The Pew Research Center has released its comprehensive annual report on religious restrictions around the globe. The report compares restrictions in 2016 with previous years across two distinct categories: government-imposed restrictions and societal hostilities. More than a quarter (28%) of the 198 countries included in the research were identified as having either… Continue reading Pew Research Center Releases Latest Report on Global Religious Restrictions

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Pakistan Judge Rules Citizens Must Declare Their True Religious Faith

ISLAMABAD – It has been a rule of law that citizens of Pakistan must self-identify their religion on their passports. Now a judge on the Islamabad High Court has extended the rule to greater lengths. In a ruling delivered on Friday, 09 March 2018, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has ordered that Pakistan citizens must also… Continue reading Pakistan Judge Rules Citizens Must Declare Their True Religious Faith

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Chinese Persecution of Religious Groups Getting Worse

Photo by TonySKTO President Xi Jinping came to power in China late 2012. In this time, religious persecution has increased. Per CNN, “Since President Xi Jinping came to power in late 2012, Freedom House said, the scale of religious oppression has increased at all levels of society, despite widespread resistance from believers of all stripes.”… Continue reading Chinese Persecution of Religious Groups Getting Worse

Open Doors Founder and Famed Bible Smuggler ‘Brother Andrew’ Dies at Age 94

SANTA ANA, CA — Anne Van der Bijl, the founder of international nonprofit Open Doors, and known around the world as “Brother Andrew,” died at the age of 94 at his home in the Netherlands, according to a family spokesperson. Brother Andrew was the founder of Open Doors, the oldest worldwide ministry to persecuted Christians.… Continue reading Open Doors Founder and Famed Bible Smuggler ‘Brother Andrew’ Dies at Age 94

New Open Doors Prayer App Connects American Believers with Persecuted Christians Around the World

SANTA ANA, CA — A new mobile prayer app developed by Christian persecution watchdog, Open Doors USA, gives users the ability to connect with persecuted Christians suffering for their faith. Available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the Open Doors Prayer App was created to help strengthen and support Christian… Continue reading New Open Doors Prayer App Connects American Believers with Persecuted Christians Around the World

Women’s Ministry in the Republic of Moldova

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA — A women’s ministry was organized in the Republic of Moldova, which has verse 11 from Psalm 68 as its motto: “ The Lord giveth the word: the women that publish the tidings are a great host.” Women, regardless of denomination, of different ages and social status, are helped to grow in… Continue reading Women’s Ministry in the Republic of Moldova

Alarming Rise in Islamist Violence Against Christians in Nigeria

NIGERIA — A new report highlights the alarming scale of rising violence in Nigeria as terrorists attempt to Islamise the nation — Much of that violence is directed against Christians. Andrew Boyd reports. Release International has warned that Nigeria is fast becoming a persecution hotspot. And Open Doors estimates more Christians are killed there than… Continue reading Alarming Rise in Islamist Violence Against Christians in Nigeria

Ukrainian Christians Harassed by Russian Separatists

UKRAINE — As the front lines of war in Ukraine keep shifting, Christians from a number of Protestant churches in areas now under Russian separatist control are reporting harassment from soldiers and officials. Some say they have been forced to leave their buildings. Church leaders believe the Russians regard all Protestant churches as planted by… Continue reading Ukrainian Christians Harassed by Russian Separatists

Helping North African Persecuted Women Stay Strong

NORTH AFRICA — Sarah* in North Africa has twice been thrown out of her home, simply because she loves Jesus. As a woman, she is particularly vulnerable – throwing her out endangered her. Around the world, millions of women from religious minorities face persecution for their faith and their gender. Find out her story and… Continue reading Helping North African Persecuted Women Stay Strong

ChinaAid Releases Report Detailing Persecution and Key Findings for 2021

MIDLAND, TX — ChinaAid released its 2021 Annual Report, detailing persecution and key findings for the year. ChinaAid works closely with sources in China to expose abuses of human rights, religious freedom, and rule of law since 2002. While not an exhaustive list of cases, ChinaAid’s research represents one of the most comprehensive and accurate… Continue reading ChinaAid Releases Report Detailing Persecution and Key Findings for 2021

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