China Aid Association
(Washington, DC – May 11, 2011) Leading Chinese church pastors in the United States and Canada have launched a worldwide “Help Shouwang” signature campaign in hopes that drawing attention to the Chinese government’s crackdown on one of Beijing’s largest house churches will stay the leadership’s hand from imposing harsh punishment against the church and its leaders.
The effort was initiated by some former members of Shouwang Church who are now pastors of Chinese churches in the United States. Their bilingual May 10 appeal has already been signed by some of the most well-known pastors of Chinese congregations in the United States and Canada.
They include Boli Zhang, the former 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement student leader who now pastors the D.C.-area Harvest Chinese Christian Church; Yujian Hong, a Shanghai-native who converted to Christianity while studying for his PhD in the United States and now serves as senior pastor of Faith Chinese North American Baptist Church in Vancouver, Canada; and Tongsu Liu, the Western legal philosophy scholar and Yale Law School and Yale Divinity School graduate who is now senior pastor of Mountain View Chinese Christian Church in California.
“Our appeal expresses the views of and is endorsed by churches and individual Christians from around the world,” the appeal said. “It is entirely without any political agenda and free from any government involvement.”
“It is simply a voice of conscience, a call to respect human dignity and to recognize the inalienable rights accorded to every human being, particularly, in this case, to the leaders and members of Shouwang Church in Beijing,” the appeal, entitled “Solidarity with Shouwang Church in Beijing,” continued.
While acknowledging the economic progress that China has made in the past 30 years, the appeal noted, “In the area of social justice and human rights, however, China has failed to make commensurate progress.”
It warned, “Economic growth without reforms in social justice and human rights could result in great harm for the Chinese people, and could have catastrophic consequences for Chinese society if left unaddressed.”
Calling on the government to “end its repressive political actions against Shouwang Church and it members,” the appeal said that in this way, the Chinese government could “demonstrate its respect for human rights and human dignity, social justice, and the Chinese constitution.”
The full appeal in English is available here:
The full appeal in Chinese is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tO-3oi8m2spu4aZzYFEkaMhrkY9ouHdq-QKZkrbnZ1A/edit?hl=en&pli=1#
A “Help Shouwang” website has been set up at www.HelpSW.org to collect signatures and for people to leave comments. Signatures can also be e-mailed to: z[email protected]
Churches in the free world are also encouraged to organize special activities to show their solidarity with Shouwang, such as holding an Outdoor Sunday Worship Service or prayer service dedicated to Shouwang, or organizing a “One-Mile Walk for Persecuted Shouwang” or an art performance or event dedicated to supporting Shouwang church members in their fight for freedom to worship.
Church leaders in the free world could also engage in a two- to four-day period of “self-confinement” at home, as an act of solidarity with Shouwang’s clergy and lay leaders who have been under informal house arrest since early April, and write and post their reflections at www.HelpSW.org and on the Shouwang Facebook page.
For further information, please contact:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 508-890-8880 (10:00am-4:00pm EDT)