China Aid Association
(London—Oct. 27, 2011) In a wide-ranging interview on the BBC’s flagship news program HARDtalk that recently aired globally, ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu pointed out that true religious freedom does not exist in China and contrasted the realities of Chinese religious persecution against the positive picture sometimes painted by visiting U.S. preachers and scholars of flourishing churches in China.
In the half-hour interview that was taped in London last month, Fu described the Chinese government’s “unprecedented crackdown” on dissidents, human rights activists and house church Christians all across the country since the spring.
Fu was interviewed by HARDtalk host Stephen Sackur, one of the BBC’s most respected journalists, who pointed to reports from non-Chinese scholars of flourishing officially sanctioned churches and growing numbers of house church Christians and to events like evangelist Luis Palau preaching to a crowd of 8,000 in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
Fu, however, pointed out that even while those facts were true, they do not constitute freedom of religion when Bibles are not freely available for sale and can only be purchased in state-sanctioned churches and while Christians all over China are being thrown into prison and labor camps simply for leading groups of believers who do not want to be part of the official Three-Self Patriotic Movement church.
“I’ve not denied you can buy some copies of a Bible from the Three-Self church, but there’s one single fact that not a single copy of the Bible is allowed to be sold in any public bookstore in China. Is that really religious freedom?” Fu asked. “And if you distribute some Bibles outside the four walls of the church building of the government-sanctioned church, you will know what will happen: You will at a minimum pay a fine or [face] arrest.”
“So that’s the litmus test I would tell my foreign friends, if they truly believe China has religious freedom,” Fu added. “Go to Tiananmen Square or a public square, distribute some gospel tracts or some religious literature…”
The half-hour show aired both globally and in United Kingdom on Tuesday Oct 18. HARDtalk has a worldwide audience of 200 million viewers on BBC World and BBC News 24.
A transcript of the interview is available here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B9q8i6gw7oZmMmYyNmEwMjItNzNmNy00Y2FhLTkyOTAtYzA5NWZkNmY0MDgx
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