Citation: 2021 RLLR 87
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: November 2, 2021
Panel: Avril Cardoso
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Jordana Rotman
RPD Number: TC0-01847
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Number: A-2022-01778
ATIP Pages: N/A
 MEMBER: This is the decision for XXXX XXXX XXXX You are claiming to be a citizen of China and are claiming refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. I have considered your testimony and the other evidence in the case and I am ready to render my decision orally.
 I find that you are a Convention refugee on the ground of religion for the following reasons.
 You allege the following. You were introduced to Christianity while working in Suriname in June 2017 from fellow Chinese ex-patriots. You returned to China and continued your Christian practice. In July 2018, while at a house church service, the PSB raided the home. After being interrogated and warned, you decided to leave China. With the aid of a smuggler, you came to Canada and claimed protection.
 You allege if you return, you face persecution. You allege that there is no state protection for you or an Internal Flight Alternative.
 I find that your personal identity as a citizen of China has been established on a balance of probabilities by your testimony, your RIC, passport and marriage certificate contained in Exhibits 5 and 6. I find that there is a link between what you fear and the Convention ground of religion and your claim is therefore assessed under Section 96.
 You resided in Suriname from XXXX 2014 to XXXX 2015. From XXXX 2015 to XXXX 2017 and again from XXXX 2018 to XXXX 2018, I have considered whether you are excluded from protection under Article 1E of the refugee Convention. I find that you do not have status substantially similar to Suriname nationals, nor did you previously have such status or access to such status. To obtain permanent status, you testified that you require residence for five years and a stable job. The evidence establishes that you resided in Suriname on a temporary basis subject to renewable residence permits. If you allowed a permit to expire, you would not be allowed re-entry and had to reapply. In support of your testimony, you submitted your Suriname residence permit, foreigner’s registration and the judicial decision to extend your stay until XXXX XXXX XXXX 2018. The federal court has held that where the country a claimant has taken up residence is tentative, they do not fall within the ambit of Article 1E. I therefore find that you are not excluded.
 In terms of your general credibility, I found you to be a credible witness and I therefore believe what you have alleged in your oral testimony and in your Basis of Claim form. Your overall testimony was spontaneous, detailed, forthcoming and without embellishment. It was entirely consistent with your narrative. I find that you were introduced to Christianity in June 2017 while living in Suriname. Your testimony was detailed and most compelling. You described in detail what transpired at the house church service, explained how you were taught to pray and related the story of David and Goliath which you explained touched you briefly.
 You testified that at the time you were scared because of an event which transpired and you were afraid of going out. You said that you learned God would protect you as you saw David prevail against Goliath with God’s support and you slept peacefully when you returned home that evening. In support of your testimony, you submitted a letter from a fellow house church member in Suriname, contained in Exhibit 6. I find that you continue to practice your faith at the house church when you returned to China in XXXX 2017. You testified that the services were held at Mr. XXXX home and he was a group leader. You said there were 10 members and identified the pastor. You described your baptism in great detail and explained the meaning of baptism to Christians. I note that the baptism process outlined in the True Jesus belief, disclosure contained in Exhibit 7. You also submitted a baptism certificate from the pastor in China contained in Exhibit 6. I find that you were questioned by the PSB on July 22, 2018 and accept this event as declared in your narrative.
 You testified that you were able to exit China and did not encounter issues going through security. I find this is reasonable as you do not indicate that the PSB detained or charged you and it is therefore unlikely that your name would have been recorded. When asked why you needed to obtain a Canadian visa in August 2018 when you were in possession of a valid US visa, you testified that the smuggler advised you to do so as Canada embraced freedom of religion. I draw no negative inference against your credibility as you relied on an agent to leave China and you left China in XXXX 2018, only weeks after you were interrogated by the PSB. I find that your delay in claiming protection for 14 months is reasonable. You relied on advice from the agent, as well as your sister, who lives in Canada. You explained that the smuggler told you that without identity documents, your claim would fail and you would be deported to China. When asked if your sister helped to obtain legal advice in Canada, you said she made some telephone calls and was informed that you should expect a hearing in three to five months, and since you did not have your identity documents, your claim would be unlikely to succeed.
 I find that you are a genuine Christian. You provided detailed and spontaneous testimony about your activities at the church you attend in Canada, which is materially consistent with the letter provided by the church you attend and can be found at Exhibit 6. You also testified about the 5 rules and 10 beliefs of True Jesus adherence spontaneously and in detail. Your testimony about the meaning and impact of your faith in your life was most compelling.
 You explained that before you became a Christian, you consumed alcohol and did not listen to your parents and felt alone. You testified that you learned that you should be inspired by the Holy Spirit and not alcohol. You should listen to your parents in accordance with the 10 commandments and most importantly you learned that you can depend on God and pray to God for solutions. You said your faith has made you an easygoing person. I therefore find that your subjective fear is established by your credible testimony and corroborating documents.
 Your fear of being deported to China in the present circumstances is a fear that is well-founded in the objective documents. The US Department of State report in 2.1 writes about the state in position of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief. Authorities continue to imprison citizens for reasons related to politics and religion. The US International Religious Freedom Report writes about the 2019 to 2024 campaign of Sinicization to bring all religious doctrine and practice in line with CCP doctrine, the government offered financial incentives to law enforcement to arrest religious practitioners and to citizens who reported illegal religious activity. There are multiple reports of harassment and threats in Fujian province where you lived, this is in 12.1.
 The US Commission on International Religious Freedom 2021 report says that Chinese authorities harassed, detained, arrested and imprisoned members of protestant house churches who refuse to join the state sanctioned three self patriotic movement, this is in 12.2. A request for information report writes that authorities have repeatedly stated that one of the aims of the new regulations is to eliminate independent house churches compelling most of them to become part of the (inaudible) in 12.28. Your Counsel has also submitted objective country condition evidence which supports a well-founded fear. There is a report that the True Jesus Church in Hanon, Province has been forcibly demolished by Chinese authorities. This is contained in Exhibit 6.
 There is a presumption of state protection unless the state is in a condition of complete breakdown. This presumption may be rebutted with clear and convincing evidence. In this case, the agent of persecution is the state. As the persecution you would face should you return to China is at the hands of the authorities, accordingly, I find there is no state protection available to you.
Internal Flight Alternative
 I have also considered whether a viable Internal Flight Alternative exists for you. I find that there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout China and therefore no Internal Flight Alternative is available to you as the state is the agent of persecution and will be motivated to find you.
 Based on the totality of the evidence, I find you to be a Convention refugee and I accept your claim.
———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-