On February 4, 2018, the results of the annual Oscar Award of Freedom and Human Rights in China were announced in Los Angeles. Wu Gan, Huang Wenxun, Li Tie, and Li Yufeng, all of whom have devoted themselves to the cause of human rights, were given the Freedom and Human Rights Award. The Special Contribution to Human Rights Award was given to The Church of Almighty God (CAG), the first time to date a religious group has received this honor. Since its establishment, the mission of the Oscar Award of Freedom and Human Rights in China has been to honor groups and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of democracy, freedom and human rights for the people of China. This year’s awards ceremony will be held on March 4 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles.
In the selection of this year’s Oscar Award of Freedom and Human Rights in China, The Church of Almighty God was awarded the first ever Special Contribution to Human Rights Award with the most votes in that category. Nominator expressed a firm belief that The Church of Almighty God is an authentic Christian church based on the multi-faceted understanding they had gained. In spite of the inhumane suppression and persecution suffered at the hands of the Chinese Communist government, Christians from The Church of Almighty God have persisted in their faith and have produced more and more uplifting works such as films, musicals, song and dance performances. The Church of Almighty God has made a great contribution to humanity and is well-deserving of this recognition.
According to reports, since The Church of Almighty God was established in 1991, it has been continually subjected to the CCP government’s suppression and persecution, and is the most severely persecuted house church of all Christian churches in China. According to rough statistics, in just the two short years between 2011 and 2013, the number of Christians of the CAG illegally arrested, detained and sentenced by the Communist Party reached 380,380 people, of which 43,640 people were subjected to various methods of torture at the hands of kangaroo courts, including 13 people who were persecuted to death. As of September 30, 2017, there are already 44 well-documented cases of Christians of the CAG killed by the Communist Party. Over the last two decades, at least half a million Christians from The Church of Almighty God have been forced to leave their homes behind and go into hiding. As the Communist government’s persecution of the CAG has become increasingly severe in recent years, some Christians have to flee China for asylum abroad.
Even within the current harsh environment of the regime’s brutal suppression and persecution, the CAG has independently produced films, musicals, choral albums and other videos, making an outstanding contribution to society. In 2017 alone The Church of Almighty God released more than a dozen films and 180 short videos. It currently has released nearly 800 videos on YouTube. Many of its films and musicals have gained international renown and have received awards at various film festivals. Among these are “Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China,” a documentary revealing the CCP government’s persecution of Christians, which won Best Human Rights Documentary at the Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes, as well as the film “In the Deep of Winter,” which won an Award of Recognition in the category of Liberation/Social Justice/Protest at the Accolade Global Film Competition. These films expose and unpack the Communist government’s countless crimes and contemptible measures taken to persecute Christians, opening people’s eyes to the evil essence of the Chinese Communist Party. More and more people in the international community have expressed that everything disseminated by The Church of Almighty God is uplifting and is sorely needed in our world today.
Based on currently available information, the recipients in the previous four annual Oscar Awards of Freedom and Human Rights include the family members of human rights lawyers in the “709 crackdown,” Huang Qi (founder of the 64 Tianwang Human Rights Center), Qin Yongmin (founder of China Human Rights Watch), the Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, groups of Chinese human rights lawyers, the Southern Street Movement, the Chinese New Citizens’ Movement, etc.