ChinaAid’s Bob Fu visits Taiwan

Photo: Bob Fu and Nadine Maenza meet with President of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan, You Si-kun (ChinaAid)

(Taiwan—November 18, 2022) On November 14, Reverend Dr. Bob Fu, president of the China Aid Association, and Ms. Nadine Maenza, president of the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Secretariat, met with Mr. You Si-kun, President of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Five others were present in the meeting. Ms. Maenza said there are plans for the IRF Summit to be held in Taiwan next May. Mr. You Si-kun, President of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, expressed that China has no religious freedom at present, and is internally suppressing Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Christianity, etc. He hopes to work with knowledgeable individuals around the globe to urge the democratization of China.

Rev. Dr. Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, expressed that the history of Taiwan’s efforts for religious freedom can be extended to other parts of the world. In the past ten years, he has visited Taiwan many times. The Legislative Yuan has also invited victims of religious persecution to come to the Yuan to hold hearings and also gave great comfort and encouragement to many victims of religious persecution and family members of victims in China.

Rev. Bob Fu said Taiwan has established the IRF Roundtable with the assistance of the Christian Presbyterian Church and the Tibet Foundation. It is hoped that Taiwan will be of significant help to the international community and countries and regions where religious freedom is restricted and enhance Taiwan’s status as a beacon of freedom.

Ms. Maenza said in her speech that she has served as the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for the past four years. The commission’s annual human rights report shows that the global human rights situation continues to deteriorate; on the other hand, Taiwan is a beacon of religious freedom. It is worth learning for the United States and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Ms. Maenza noted that she is currently serving as the president of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat, actively promoting religious freedom infrastructures and planning to host the International Religious Freedom Summit in Taiwan next May, inviting Mr. You Si-kun to attend.

The International Religious Freedom Alliance was established in February 2020 by U.S. dignitaries and organizations in collaboration with 27 countries around the world, with Taiwan as an observer. The Alliance was founded to, among other things, protect and promote freedom of religion and belief worldwide and to complement the ongoing work of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations.

It was a great honor to meet with leaders of the human rights movement who have traveled around the world for years fighting for religious freedom and to talk about the history of Taiwan’s democratization and defense of religious freedom, Mr. You Si-kun expressed. However, as we breathe the air of freedom, China has been listed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for 23 consecutive years as one of the countries of particular concern for “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.”

In his speech, Mr. You Si-kun pointed out that in addition to the efforts of many such as the Taiwanese people and the Presbyterian Church, to make the process of the democratization journey in Taiwan successful, international support is also quite an essential part of it.

The two parties also discussed how the U.S. should assist Taiwan in its participation in international matters. Mr. You Si-kun said that the revelation Taiwan gained from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year is to strengthen its will to defend itself and to receive support from others; Taiwan has to first stand up for itself to face the bullying of the Chinese Communist Party. He expressed that Chinese communism has already posed a global danger, and now that the Chinese Communist Party has swallowed up Hong Kong if it succeeds in annexing Taiwan in the future, it will further claim to the outside world that Chinese culture is not suitable for democratic politics.

Mr. You Si-kun said the Chinese Communist Party has been using force to intimidate Taiwan because it fears the influence of Taiwan, a beacon of freedom and democracy on the Chinese people; however, Taiwan will continue to defend its land with the resilient support of all its people and democratic allies.

There is no freedom of religion in China today, and the situation with human rights persecution has been continuously deteriorating, he continued. He expressed hope that one day the Chinese Communist Party will change from within to embrace freedom and democracy.

The visit to the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan was also attended by Yang Sen-hong, President of the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, Ms.Migyur Youdon, Secretary of Office of Tibet-Taiwan, Rev. Sudu Tada, Associate General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, and Rev. Ng Tiat-gan, the head of research and development in the General Assembly Office of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan.

~Gao Zhensai, Special Correspondent of ChinaAid

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