No Response to Pastors’ Joint Petition; Shouwang Church’s Situation Becomes More Perilous

Translated by China Aid Association
By Zhang Min, host of Radio Free Asia’s “Journey of the Soul” talk show
May 28, 2011
No response a half-month after 17 Christian church pastors in China submit a joint petition
On May 10, 17 Christian pastors from various Chinese cities signed and submitted a citizens’ petition to the National People’s Congress, a first since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. The title of the petition was “It is for Our Faith: A Citizens’ Petition to the National People’s Congress on the Church-State Conflicts.”

The petition says:
Dear Wu Bangguo, chairman of Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress:  We are a group of Chinese citizens and we love our country and are concerned about the wellbeing of the our society and our compatriots.  We obey and respect the power of the government in regulating the public order.  In the meantime, we are also a group of Christians of the Ecumenical Christian Church.  Because we have seen recently the church-state conflicts that are happening in the capital city of our country and there is so far no signs of its solution, we have thus sent this petition of ours to the highest power of the country in accordance with the law.
It also says:
It is with a heart of blessing this country that we are petitioning you in accordance with Article 41 of the Chinese Constitution which endows citizens with the rights to make proposals, air our criticism, submit petitions and sue other people.  We hereby request that you and the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to start the procedure of a special investigation in accordance with Article 71 of the Chinese Constitution and establish a special investigating committee on “Freedom of Religions Belief.”
1. Conduct an investigation on the incident that Shouwang Church of Beijing does not have a fixed place for their gathering and urge Beijing Municipal government to resolve this issue in an appropriate way;
2.  Conduct a review to see if the existing “Regulations on Religious Affairs” is unconstitutional.
3.  We hereby submit our request that you enact the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Freedom of Religious Beliefs.”
It is our belief that the freedom of religious belief is the paramount freedom of the human society and is a part of the universal values of the international community.  In the meantime, it is also the cornerstone of other political rights and property rights.  Without the just and universal freedom of religious belief, there will be no way for a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country to build a peaceful civil society and there will be no way to bring forth social stability, ethnic unity and the prosperity of our country.
It is already over half a month since we sent out this petition and we have not seen a response in writing from the National People’s Congress or people in charge of this issue.
Bob Fu: The State Administration for Religious Affairs convened a meeting attended by Three-Self church leaders from 15 provinces and municipalities to slander Shouwang Church.
Rev. Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, a U.S,-based non-government organization concerned with freedom of religion in China, said this about the current plight of the Beijing Shouwang Church of Beijing mentioned in this petition: “By Sunday the 22nd of May, the authorities’ suppression of Shouwang Church had entered its seventh week. In addition to those church members who came to the (worship) site and were taken into custody, the majority of the believers were restricted to their homes beginning on Friday or Saturday. Besides the local police guarding them, there are also people from the neighborhood committees and specially hired security guards. More than a dozen Shouwang Church leaders have all been placed under house arrest and have no freedom of movement. They are not allowed to leave their homes or receive visitors.
“Last week, the director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the State Council convened a nationwide meeting of leaders of Three-Self churches from 15 provinces and municipalities, telling these Three-Self churches not to heed Shouwang Church’s own statement of faith and repeatedly slandering Shouwang Church. One can see that the authorities are getting ready for a large-scale defamation campaign against Shouwang Church.”
Leaders of Shouwang Church still under house arrest
I called Pastor Jin Tianming of Beijing Shouwang Church to ask him about the recent situation.
Host: I understand that you have been under house arrest all this time. What is the situation now?
Jin Tianming: The situation is the same. Nothing particular has changed at my place. I prefer not to be interviewed, OK? Because our announcements have already stated everything clearly, so I really have nothing more to say.

Wang Wenfeng: Shouwang Church is not an isolated case, many other non-official churches want the same thing
I then interviewed one of the signatories of the petition to the NPC, Mr. Wang Wenfeng, general secretary of Wenzhou China Theology Forum and asked him to talk about why he took part in the joint petition.
Wang Wenfeng: Speaking for myself, I hope that both the Chinese government and Chinese churches outside the (government) system can regard the Shouwang incident as a rare opportunity.  As a signatory to the petition, I hope the government can see that the Shouwang incident is not an isolated case; rather, many churches in China want the same thing.
Host:  What is their main request?
Wang Wenfeng: The most basic request is “let us meet in public and let us register.”  In fact, the actions taken by Shouwang Church in the recent years have been very rational and they did not start out with radical measures against the government. This petition is to let the government see that this is a request not just of Shouwang Church but of many churches in China.
I hope the Chinese churches outside the system see this and join this petition because the churches outside the system must face society, the government and the world. We Christians have nothing to hide.  oing public is not just because our churches need to be registered, this is also a legal procedure. At the same time, our faith itself requires us to be open with non-Christians, society and the state.
Wang Wenfeng: We want registration but not under the Three-Self.  We hope the government can be enlightened and allow other Christian organizations to co-exist with the Three-Self
Host: With regard to registration, Shouwang has already applied for it, but the relevant government agency did not register the church. Would they become a Three-Self church once they are registered, or would they be an independent non-government organization? People outside the church may not know understand this. What is the exact meaning of the registration you just mentioned?
Wang Wenfeng: Registration is mainly done by some relevant government department, not the Three-Self…. As for the Three-Self, my personal view is that in China you can have Three-Self churches, but you must also let other types of Christian organizations exist at the same time. It shouldn’t just be an agency like the Three-Self that’s the only one allowed to exist. That is to say, if Christianity in China is to have a national organization, it shouldn’t be a religious organization that is like a government administrative agency.  If an organization like the Three-Self is to exist, you should make it a church organization that is religious in nature, don’t make it an organization that functions like a government agency.
So the house churches want to register, because we want to show the government that we are willing to respect you as our government. We will come to you to register but don’t make us register under the Three-Self. Our thinking is that you should let more national Christian organizations and churches register, not just under the one name of the Three-Self.
Host:  As of today, there has been no precedent of this kind, that is to say, there’s been no instance in which a relevant government agency has registered a church without making it part of the Three-Self system, is that right?
Wang Wenfeng: Right, right. That’s why I personally want to emphasize one point, which is, what should the government be enlightened about? Because the number of Christians in China is not in the tens or hundreds of thousands, but in the tens of millions, but when you take these kinds of measures, it is to the detriment of the government itself.
Now, in the wake of this Shouwang incident, not only have the feelings of the Christians been hurt, many people have suffered great harm in their living situation and their work, too.
Wang Wenfeng: I have three suggestions for the government
Wang Wenfeng: I personally have three suggestions for the government:
First, I hope that after the National People’s Congress reads this petition, it can think of the matter from the legal perspective and bring together as quickly as possible government officials, scholars, pastors of churches and independent people to draft a “Law to Protect of Freedom of Religion.” This is not only for the protection of China’s religious organizations, it also protects the Chinese government itself. This is because if there is no such law, as soon as there is a church-state conflict, the government may encounter some unexpected events. In this age of the Internet, if the government does not have a complete set of laws and does not do things according to the law, unstable situations can develop at any time in China.
Second, I hope the Chinese government can make some adjustments in its religious organs, such as the State Administration for Religious Affairs and the Three-Self Patriotic Association.  I’m not opposed to these organs, but they must be given their proper functions. If it is a service agency rather than a regulatory and supervisory agency, then I deeply believe in the legitimacy of its existence. Because issues related to supervising a church are basically issues of faith. State religious affairs agencies are agencies for implementing government policies, and there are insurmountable differences as far as function between them and issues of faith.
Third, with regard to the Shouwang Church incident, what the pastors, lay leaders and believers have been doing in this incident is totally for the sake of their faith. That includes the numerous Chinese house church pastors and believers who are also fighting for their religious freedom simply for the sake of their faith. But in the decades past, the government’s entire set of actions did nothing but push these groups that were motivated by faith into political whirlpools. That’s why, the government criticizes the house churches and says, “You must not politicize the issue,” but in fact, it is the Chinese government that has caused the politicization of the house churches.  If the government does not see this point and continues to take these oppressive measures, the churches will be pushed to being on the opposing side of the government, and that’s not due to the churches intentionally going against the government.
Mr. Wang Wenfeng especially stressed: “I personally signed this petition in the hope that the government will realize that it was with desire for peace and concern for our country that we submitted this petition, and with the hope that it will prompt the National People’s Congress, the legislative organ of the state, to pay attention to this.
Zheng Leguo: Through a reasonable process, believers want the state to attach importance to and bring about freedom of religious belief
I interviewed another signatory to the joint petition, Mr. Zheng Leguo, an evangelist from Baixiang Christian Church in Leqing, Wenzhou. Listen to what he had to say about his feelings in signing the petition—
Zheng Leguo: We believe that the Shouwang incident is not an individual incident. It is a typical and condensed reflection of the decades-old church-state relationship. The old way of religious administration is no longer suited to the growing churches of today; using the old administrative models is useless. The natural growth of churches in urban areas and the development of churches are very fast; you’re being rather unrealistic to say that they have to go back to meetings of a few or a dozen people in private homes. Just as the entire social structure and knowledge structure are all changing, so the churches are developing too. It’s impossible to pour “new wine into old wineskins.” (Mark 2:22 in the Bible says, “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”)
That’s why I think it is very necessary, through a reasonable process, to get the state to attach importance to the inner feelings of the Chinese churches and the desires of grass-root and urban churches and to bring about freedom of religious belief.
The current “Regulations on Religious Affairs” actually do not protect citizens’ freedom of religion. Rather, it controls it more tightly. That’s why we felt we needed to get the National People’s Congress to attach importance to this, because it can’t continue using the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” to regulate the churches.
Zheng Leguo: Squeezing house churches into the Three-Self goes against the faith conscience of the house churches and is not acceptable.
Zheng Leguo: “The church has already been silent for more than 60 years; this is how things have been for the past 60 years. A state should not treat its own citizens in this way. Since the Chinese Constitution recognizes freedom of religion and since China is a signatory to the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” you can’t not implement them, right? When citizens want to put their faith into actual practice, (but you say) this is not OK, that’s not OK ….
Actually, the churches are willing to communicate with the government, but the government won’t let the churches register. When the churches go back (to meeting without registration), the government goes back on its promises. In this context, Mr. Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, seems to have said unequivocally: “We have a responsibility in 2010, and that is to drive the house churches back into the Three-Self churches.”
We feel that that the measures taken by the authorities with respect to Shouwang Church are not a singular event. It might start with Shouwang, and then other house churches will be similarly squeezed into the Three-Self. This will clearly go against the faith conscience of the house churches, something that simply is unacceptable. You weren’t able to achieve this in the past 60 years, and now you bring out this method to attempt it and that’s just wrong.”
Zheng Leguo:  We call on the National People’s Congress review the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” to see if it is unconstitutional
Zheng Leguo: We jointly signed the petition to bring this matter of Shouwang Church before the National People’s Congress and Chairman Wu Bangguo with the request that they look into whether the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” is unconstitutional. We want a review. Because of the urgency of the Shouwang matter, and due to time constraints, we were not able to get a broad range of signatories.
Host: You just mentioned the existing “Regulations on Religious Affairs” of China. What in your mind are the more glaring parts of these regulations that run counter to the constitution and international documents that deal with religious freedom, such as the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”?
Zheng Leguo: For example, the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” talks about “normal” and “not normal” …. What’s “normal” can protect you, but if it’s “not normal,” then it (the regulations) cannot protect you. But as far as what is considered normal and not normal, that’s not up to the church to say; it’s become the government that gets the final say, and the final authority can turn your “not normal” (activity) into something illegal.
Besides, the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” say that the final confirmation of the church’s clergy, the approval of activity sites and the establishment of religious educational institutions all must go through one “inspection post,” and that is the Three-Self (and) Religious Affairs Bureau. This is the same as entirely cutting off the whole path for Chinese churches: the only way to be considered legal is by passing this “inspection post.” This is indeed very different from the “citizens’ freedom of belief” contained in the Constitution.
Since the Constitution contains freedom of belief for the citizens, then citizens’ religious practices, including schools and colleges (and the other things) I just mentioned …. they are all  part of religious belief, and just because there are the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” should not mean that we should be put under control. The “Regulations on Religious Affairs” promulgated in 2004 did provide more protection of our interests, rather it brought more control over our religious beliefs and practices. I think there is great need for the National People’s Congress to review this regulation.
Zheng Leguo: The minimum expectation in our petition—hand over the keys to the meeting site that Shouwang Church paid for in full
Host: As one of signatories to the petition, what do you think is the minimum achievable outcome, and how are the authorities  handling this matter?
Zheng Leguo: The petition is quite a wide-ranging petition. The most urgent matter for Shouwang Church at this time is a meeting site; the money has been paid (to buy real estate property), it’s just that they won’t hand over the keys. If the Beijing authorities simply allow the real estate developer to hand over the keys to Shouwang Church, then this matter can actually die down quite quickly and there will no longer be any outdoor worship; this urgent matter would very quickly subside. I think the wisest thing the government can do now is let the people of Shouwang return to an indoor site. Afterwards, don’t drive them out as it did to them in 2009.  This actually won’t result in any losses to the government and is wise and welcome, and is what the Christians in China’s churches would be very happy to see.
Zheng Leguo:  The highest expectation of our petition—remove the “Regulations on Religious Affairs,” don’t interfere in faith matters and implement a simple filing and registration process for churches
Host: As a signatory, what do you think are the petition’s higher expectations and requests?
Zheng Leguo: I feel that the government can totally courageously and with foresight loosen up. China has recognized Christianity as legal; if you don’t get rid of the Religious Affairs Bureau and the Three-Self Patriotic Association, you can at least allow for multiplicity, letting the Three-Self churches exist while also letting the house churches exist, and refraining from any interference, so that everyone can first co-exist. This is for the short-term.
As for our highest expectations, things like the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” and the “Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee” should all be gotten rid of.  In fact, in the 1980s, the Three-Self itself said “this is just a framework that can be disassembled at any time,” whenever it no longer suits the times, it can be removed. In the future, the filing of church registrations will be simple, as simple as citizens going to get their marriage licenses. Once you’ve got it, then the government isn’t able to get involved in a person’s family affairs. In this way, comparatively speaking, things would be freer, and Christians participating in seminars and trainings don’t have to do it in secret, they can be completely open. After all, the Chinese Constitution already contains freedom of religious belief; if it’s implemented, then everything will be fine.
Hong Yujian: Shouwang Church is representative of emerging urban churches, its action is in line with Christian teachings
On May 10, the day that 17 Christian pastors signed the joint petition “It is for Our Faith: A Citizens’ Petition to the National People’s Congress regarding the Church-State Conflicts,” I interviewed Rev. Hong Yujian, who has long been a pastor at Faith Chinese Baptist Church in Vancouver, Canada, and who holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. I asked him to talk about his feelings at seeing this petition.
Hong Yujian: I personally think this is a very encouraging and inspiring event. Because Shouwang Church is very representative of fast growing urban churches in China of recent years: in Beijing’s Zhongguancun area, this church is mainly made up of intellectuals and has grown to more than 1,000 members. To worship in homes as was the done in the past, homes simply cannot hold that many people. They have a strong desire, based on (the understanding) they have received from the Bible about their faith, which is that their church is an integrated whole and cannot be divided.
According to the Chinese Constitution, citizens’ freedom of belief must be protected.  Shouwang Church has also shown its willingness to obey the government and that’s why they took the initiative to make an application with the government as being willing to register with the government as a non-government organization. However, the government actually rejected their application on the ground that they were not willing to be incorporated into the government-run official Three-Self Patriotic Association system, insisting that faith is faith and refusing to join the government-run church. What Shouwang Church has done is perfectly in line with the teachings of the orthodox Christianity.
Hong Yujian reviews the causes of the Shouwang Church incident—They just want a place, they bought a place but can’t get the keys, they leased a place but get evicted
Pastor Hong Yujian reviews the causes of the Shouwang Church incident: “Shouwang Church isn’t asking for anything special, it just wants a place. Because in the past, in the places that they leased, they often encountered disruptions from the government, which caused the landlords stress and was something that they themselves also couldn’t tolerate, so they raised the funds to buy a of 1,500 square meters of office space for 27 million yuan. Their intent in making the purchase was simply to have a place to worship. But as it happened, due to pressure from some relevant departments, after paying in full, they couldn’t get the keys.
“Under these circumstances, they didn’t make a special petition. Strictly speaking, they have been deprived of their rights to properties. They had to spend still more money in renting and in looking for a place. The result was, they can’t get into the space they bought, and the space they leased they are evicted from, so with really no other alternative, they could only go outdoors to worship.
“But this has been met with weeks of government suppression; their pastors have been restricted to their homes, believers have been detained, some people have lost their jobs as a result, or lost their homes.”
Hong Yujian: If the government really wants to build a harmonious society, it should not stir up church-state tensions; the petition seeks a return to legal processes
Rev. Hong Yujian said: Religious persecution of this kind itself is not isolated. In such circumstances, when this group of Christians and pastors from another church (act) according to the teachings of the Bible, when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer, because we are all part of the same body. Their coordinated action to express their support and solidarity is right, and was also asking the government for the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. Their petition was a call that was properly submitted to the National People’s Congress.
If the government is sincere about building a harmonious society, it should not stir up church-state tensions. This is what Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China itself stipulates. Furthermore, China is a signatory to “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and has signed the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” both of which recognize freedom of religious belief.
Freedom of religious belief is one of the most (widely) accepted of the universal values. With regard to its definition, they make special mention of this in the petition, which is worth our reviewing here: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
Since the Chinese government has already signed it, it should honor that. Why have the citizens never been able to enjoy the freedoms of speech, publication, assembly and association stated in the Chinese constitution?
Churches are not secret organizations, and they don’t want to do things behind the government’s back. What we do is in accordance with the demands of our faith. The issue is actually as simple as that.
The petition they wrote makes me feel that this is the courage of the believers in China’s house churches. They hope the government will return to a “rule of law” track in doing things. Therefore, this is totally and completely just and right, and is a great inspiration and encouragement to those of us in overseas churches.
Hong Yujian: Overseas churches and Christians issued a joint declaration to support Shouwang Church that has already been signed by more than 500 people
Hong Yujian: Because of the suffering and persecution of Shouwang Church, many of us Christians in overseas churches are crying and praying for them. We have already issued a joint declaration and we have just one single demand: give back to the Christians the freedom to worship God. More than sixty years of this kind persecution of religion and Christianity and of this kind of willful attack on freedom of religion should end now!
Rev. Hong Yujian just mentioned the joint declaration by overseas churches and Christians. The number of signatures in support of Beijing Shouwang Church by the time of this report on May 27 was 245 for the Chinese version and 268 people for the English version.
Bob Fu: No response more than a half month after the petition was submitted; the authorities use such words as “anti-cult” to demonize Shouwang Church, making the situation more perilous
It has been more than a half-month since 17 Chinese pastors of urban Christian churches sent their citizens’ petition to the National People’s Congress, but there has been no written response from the National People’s Congress or the relevant people.
Rev. Bob Fu from the US-based China Aid Association has been following closely the situation of the Christians of Shouwang Church. During my interview with him, he told me about a new situation: “Last week, the director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the State Council convened in Beijing a meeting attended by Three-Self church leaders from 15 provinces and municipalities and the topic was specifically Shouwang Church.
“This meeting was mainly to unify thinking and unify views toward Shouwang.  The director of the State Council’s State Administration of Religious Affairs especially advised these Three-Self churches not to heed the statements of faith that Shouwang Church itself has proclaimed and not to believe the statements by the Western media.  He made many slanderous comments about Shouwang Church, from which it can be seen that the authorities are planning a large-scale defamation campaign against Shouwang Church that is about to be launched.
“When the detained believers were interrogated, the Domestic Security Department for the first time referred to ‘Shouwang Religion’ and ‘cult leader,’ saying they had been confused and brainwashed. These terms clearly reminds one of the rules and regulations China adopted in its ‘anti-cult’ campaign in 1999. The so-called characteristics used in China of a cult are ‘cult leader,’ ‘brainwash’ and ‘illegal fund-raising,’ etc., etc.
“So this is ‘the turbulent wind that precedes a mountain storm.’ Obviously, the authorities are preparing for a public opinion campaign that might accuse Shouwang of being a religion of its own called ‘Shouwang Religion.’ They refer to ‘Jin Tianming, the cult leader of Shouwang’ and say that these leaders are ‘instigating them to engage in illegal activities.’ These are the new developments of the past week.
“According to reliable sources, the State Council’s State Administration for Religious Affairs instructed these Three-Self church leaders from 15 provinces and municipalities to spread the word about this characterization of Shouwang, and to do so without wavering. Obviously, many people within the Three-Self churches understand and sympathize with Shouwang, so this last-minute meeting looks to be an attempt to achieve unity in thinking.”
Host:  You just mentioned that the director of the State Council’s State Administration for Religious Affairs convened this meeting and some new official statements and changes in the methods of suppression. Did all this happen after the petition was submitted?
Bob Fu:  Yes, I think so.
Host:  According to you and your organization, are there any new developments in the situation of Shouwang Church after the 17 Chinese church pastors submitted their joint petition?
Bob Fu: Last Sunday, that is, Sunday May 22, 25 members of Shouwang Church were detained, including an elderly sister who is probably in her 80s, as well as one child. From the questions that were asked during the interrogations, there was a sign ….  Before the petition was submitted, the suppression was basically focused on preventing members of Shouwang Church from gathering for outdoor worship and the restrictions preventing the church leaders from going outdoors started the first week; the measures were preventative. Now, the situation appears to be that the authorities are taking the offensive to demonize Shouwang Church.
I’ve also gotten news that the state security agents of the Chinese Public Security are deeply involved. The security agencies have reportedly held a special meeting that included ministers from the Beijing Joint Ministerial Prayer Fellowship, the idea (conveyed) was that this matter with Shouwang Church had already reached a point of no return, and it (the church) was sure to be disbanded and destroyed.
Meanwhile, the authorities are also causing divisions. They are trying to divide Shouwang Church from other house churches. This happened after the petition was submitted.  (They are) saying: “You have submitted the petition and written open letters. You’d better stop here.”  Meaning further actions from them will not be tolerated. They have sought some people out for talks, looking for a breach, seeing if they can first get rid of them from the (sphere) of religious opinions. Using so-called “religious leaders” from the Three-Self churches, we are likely to see very quickly someone making a speech, denying that Shouwang is a real church and saying things like “it does not represent Christianity.” Then the authorities are likely to follow this line, like they did in years past to attack the so-called “cults” and “heresies.”
Bob Fu: The international community has responded to the Shouwang incident
Host:  As far as you know, how has the international community responded to the Shouwang incident?
Bob Fu:  There has also been a very strong response from the international community since Shouwang Church started to be persecuted, during these past seven weeks, and after some house churches leaders submitted their open petition to the National People’s Congress and Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. In the past week, I know that people like Chuck Colson, an American evangelical leader, have signed their names and written messages in support of Shouwang. I have especially taken note of the fact that the current president of Advocates International, the largest organization of Christian lawyers in the world, has signed and they also have made a special declaration on their website in support of Shouwang’s brothers and sisters in their fight for freedom of religion.
I believe that as the things develop, more Christians will step out and stand with Shouwang’s brothers and sisters.
Bob Fu:  Shouwang Church is part of the universally recognized catholic church, the authorities will have a hard time stigmatizing it; the government is clearly going to “criminalize” the situation.
Host:  How do you see this incident developing?
Bob Fu:  Because Shouwang is part of the universally recognized catholic church with orthodox beliefs, it will be hard for the government now to change things by using the “religious leaders” under its control. Because Shouwang Church has existed for many years and has close ties with the worldwide church.  Many Shouwang members are in mainstream churches in the United States and Canada, where they are deeply involved.
The Chinese government’s means of suppression now is “demonization,” and they are setting the stage of public opinion for the “criminalization” of the incident. Some people have pointed out that (the terms used now) match the words and methods that the Chinese Communists used in the past, whether to deal with the so-called “cults” or with the so-called “heresies” in Christianity. It clearly shows that the government ow has this kind of posture.

The above was edited and produced in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. by Zhang Min for Radio Free Asia’s “Journey of the Soul” show.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
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