A Muslim in the Ili-Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region has complained of tightening restrictions on Muslims since the ban on the Sala Sufi order in August and the closure of two local mosques. “Now that the Sufi believers have been dealt with, traditional Sunni Muslims are being persecuted,” local businessman Abdu Raheman told Forum 18. He said authorities have arrested some Muslims in possession of “unauthorized” religious literature and have ordered some Muslim young men to shave off their beards. Priests and those active in Catholic parishes have been put under surveillance, while Orthodox Christians–without a native priest at the moment–complain they are still being denied a priest from abroad. One Protestant said an underground church would not even try to register for fear of repercussions on church members when registration is refused. (Forum 18 News)