April 15, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.–As exemplified by the actions of international human rights defenders and faith practitioners around the world, the pursuit of truth and justice transcends national boundaries, and unites peoples from the East to the West. At 4:30 PM on Wednesday afternoon in the U.S. Capitol building, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) stretched across borders to honor Chinese legal scholar and human rights defender Dr. Fan Yafeng with the prestigious 2009 John Leland Religious Liberty Award. Previous recipients of the award include President George W. Bush (2006) and President of ChinaAid Bob Fu (2006), who accepted the award in person on behalf of Dr. Fan, who was unable to attend the event due to travel restrictions.
The president of the ERLC Dr. Richard Land shared the commission’s goals and expressed his sincere respect Dr. Fan and his work. Other honored speakers for the event included U.S. Representative Trent Franks, Dr. Barrett Duke, and ChinaAid President Bob Fu.
Dr. Fan Yafeng has spent his career defending the persecuted, and studying Chinese constitutional law in the pursuit of justice not only for Chinese religious faithfuls, but for civil society as a whole. During the award ceremony, Dr. Fan shared his testimony in a prerecorded interview. Hear his recorded testimony from the event.
Read Dr. Fan Yafeng’s Statement (English). Professional Biography | Event details
Dr. Fan has contributed to the advancement of rule of law and religious freedom through his legal scholarship at the China Academy of Social Sciences (from which he was fired for unspecified political reasons in November 2009), but he also serves as lead researcher for the Holy Mountain Research Institute in Beijing and as the pastor of a local house church.
See other CAA reports on Dr. Fan Yafeng:
- Henan Police Interrogate Pastors to Disrupt Church Legal Training
- Human Rights Activists Rounded Up, South China Morning Post
- Chinese Scholar Detained for “Making Noise”
- U.S. Ambassador Huntsman Meets with Chinese Legal Rights Defenders in Beijing
- Linfen Church Leaders Prepare to Appeal, Court Proceedings Revealed
- Prominent Chinese Legal Researcher Abruptly Dismissed for “Political Reasons”
- Solemn Declaration Against the Abolishment of the Chinese House Church Alliance