Tuesday, February 25, 2020

2nd Circuit: Chinese Christian Convert Does Not Have Reasonable Fear of Persecution Upon Deportation

In Wang v. Barr, (2d Cir., Feb. 24, 2020), the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the denial of asylum to a Chinese citizen who had converted to Christianity. It held that she failed to prove a well-founded fear of future persecution. The court said in part:
Wang argues that there is a reasonable possibility that the Chinese government will become aware of her religious practice because she intends to attend an underground church, and that there is a reasonable possibility that she will be persecuted as a result because the government has a pattern or practice of persecuting similarly situated Christians. ....
The State Department’s 2015 International Religious Freedom Report states that there are approximately 45 million Christians practicing in unregistered churches in China and that authorities in some areas of the country allow unregistered churches to hold services “provided they remained small in scale,” although authorities in other areas target and close such churches.... The news reports in the record concern abuses against people who are not similarly situated to Wang—who testified that she would attend services at an unregistered church, but not that she would take a leadership role, proselytize, or engage in other activism—or concern areas of China other than Wang’s native Fujian province.