China’s Underground Churches Head for Cover as Crackdown Closes In
Viola Zhou, South China Morning Post
Protestant Christianity has been one of the fastest-growing movements in China, with the number of followers estimated at 93 million to 115 million, according to Purdue University scholar Yang Fenggang. Fewer than 30 million are affiliated with official churches. The rest belong to a large number of unregistered churches operating out of living rooms and factory buildings in violation of state regulations. Although most of the family-style gatherings have been tolerated so far, the situation may soon change after China’s amended Regulation on Religious Affairs comes into effect on February 2. The new provisions add more specific rules and stronger punishment to curb religious activities outside official institutions.
Crimean Tatar Leader Jailed for Stirring Anti-Russia Protests
A man who led protests against Russia’s plans to annex Crimea from Ukraine was jailed for eight years in the disputed territory on Monday – a move Ukraine’s president called an act of Russian repression. Crimean Tatar leader Ahtem Chiygoz was found guilty of stirring up mass disorder by calling street demonstrations in February 2014 against a referendum which later sealed Russia’s seizure of the peninsula.
North Korea: US Sanctions Resolution Watered Down Before UN Vote
Justin McCurry, The Guardian
North Korea has said it will inflict “the greatest pain and suffering” on the US if it continues to call for fresh sanctions in response to the regime’s sixth nuclear test last week. As the UN security council prepared to meet later on Monday, the US reportedly watered down its sanctions resolution in the hope of winning support from China and Russia, which have voiced doubts over tougher measures.
Opinion: Time for Maximum Pressure on North Korea, Even Without China’s Permission
Josh Rogin, Washington Post
The time has come for the United States to acknowledge that its policy of trying to induce North Korea’s friends to rein in Pyongyang has failed. The best option for stopping the mounting nuclear threat from Kim Jong-un’s regime is to muster maximum pressure without waiting for approval or cooperation from Beijing and Moscow.
California Resolution Shelved After Chinese Opposition
Jonathan Cooper, US News & World Report
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