ChinaAid ContactsOctober 1, 2009
CHINAAID–On the 60th Anniversary of the Communist Party’s rule in China, ChinaAid President Bob Fu continues to remember the victims of religious persecution, and issues the following public statement:
Some Progress Made while Persecution Continues:
A Public Statement from Bob Fu of ChinaAid on the 60 Years Communist Rule in China
As a Chinese native-born citizen who was forced to flee my home country twelve years ago, I am conflicted by the events of China’s National Day celebrations. While I, too, celebrate the history and traditions of China with the people from my motherland and acknowledge the progress and positive changes in many areas of Chinese society, such as economic prosperity and freedom of movement, I cannot forget the pain and suffering inflicted upon persons of faith in these 60 years of communist rule in China.
In the areas of religious freedom and rule of law, the past 30 years have shown great progress when compared to the time of the “Cultural Revolution” (1966-1976), and the nation of China now imprisons more people of faith and conscience than all the countries in the rest of the world combined. According to Daniel Southerland’s investigative report called “Mass Death in Mao’s China,” which was released in 1994, the number of deaths caused by starvation, persecution and execution since the CPC took power in 1949 may be estimated to 80 million or more. (Southerland is a former reporter in Beijing for Washington Post and now the Deputy Director of Radio Free Asia). From 1950 to 1955 alone, over two million Chinese people were executed by CPC, including thousands of Christians. Today, the Chinese people still lack the basic protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms, such as freedom of press, speech, and assembly, as well as association. The Chinese judicial system is still under the total control of the CPC, without tolerance or independence from the political regime. Millions of Chinese citizens are still being held in Chinese Laogai (labor) camps, black detention cells, and work prisons, for simply exercising their rights—even those guaranteed by their own Chinese Constitution.
Thousands of Protestant Christians, Catholics, Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists and other faithfuls have been executed or tortured to death in the past 60 years. At the same time, millions of them were detained, kidnapped, arrested and sentenced to re-education through labor arbitrarily, without any due process. Hundreds of thousands are still being held illegally today and corrupt local governments deny their citizens’ basic rights.
Following the Tiananmen Square Memorial events on June 4th, ChinaAid has received and issued over 80 reports exposing 178 incidents of abuse against churches, human rights lawyers, and Protestant Christians in 14 provinces in China, including 118 arrests and over 914 cumulative days of forced detention—not including the continued disappearance of two Chinese missionaries on June 12 in a house church raid in Sichuan, or the absence of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, whose whereabouts have been unaccounted for 240 days. Most recently in Beijing, Pastor Hua Huiqi was arrested upon his return from a “forced vacation” in Shanxi on September 17, and Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan was sent on a forced vacation to Henan on September 23—to allegedly prevent any uprisings in the capital during the National Day celebrations. The crackdown by the Beijing PSB was foreshadowed by a secret directive sent in early August, calling for the dismantling of six specific Beijing house churches, including Pastor Hua’s and Pastor Bike’s.
Since June, Public Security and Religious Affairs Bureau officers have raided 13 churches, Bible-training schools, and homes, forcing the Autumn Rain Church to meet outdoors for nine weeks, and others to file suits against the bans placed on their churches illegally. The most devastating church attack occurred the night of September 13. With shovel loaders, bricks, and batons, nearly 400 local Fushan government officials and hired-ruffians demolished 17 buildings on Linfen Church property, beat and injured more than 100 church members, with 20 left in critical condition and 10 still hospitalized, and looted valuable personal property. Seeking to delay any action against the central government, the same officials engaged in false negotiations, promising church leaders 1.4 million yen in reparations, before seizing and detaining 9 church leaders, and installing military police in the main church buildings, to prevent the 50,000 member church from assembling to worship. Military police have been ordered to suppress any religious gatherings throughout the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China—for the purpose of preventing “violent uprisings.” The National Day celebratory events are shadowed by these blatant human rights abuses.
News agencies reported over 1.4 million troops guarded Beijing today, a military presence amplified by the 108 anti-ballistic missiles on display and the hundreds of thousands marching in the parade. Tens of thousands of smiling children in bright colors illustrated a strong and vibrant China—but did not truthfully tell the story of religious persecution and denied human rights.
I believe the appeasing efforts of some free countries, by ignoring these continuous human rights violations in China, will have contrary effects in advancing religious freedom and rule of law in China.
But above everything else, I firmly believe that God will bless China, by raising more than 100 million Chinese Gospel believers—through whom a new, hopeful, transformed China becomes possible. Instead of more sophisticated nuclear-armed missiles in front of the Tiananmen Square, as we have seen displayed on October 1, a peaceful, loving and forgiving China will be the true blessing to the world in 21st century.
May God redeem and bless China, and bless all the nations who defend the fundamental freedom of belief!
“Bob” Xiqiu Fu
President of ChinaAid
ChinaAid challenges the international community to see beyond the fireworks, and recognize the true need for advancing religious liberty and fundamental human rights in China.