The Shouwang Church of Beijing

China Aid Association

The church members, including Pastor Jin Tianming, continued to worship. These so-called law enforcement officers began to harass the church’s video display, causing several minutes of violent shaking of the screen in the side hall. The government officials forcefully removed the members presiding over the worship ceremony. However, the other participants of the ceremony restrained themselves well and continued with their Sunday worship. Over an hour later, the Sunday worship in the church ended.  The policemen and the plain-clothed people who had been waiting there tried to prevent people from leaving and they were very aggressive and domineering. All the people were demanded to register their names, ID numbers, addresses where they have their household registration and contact numbers.  Some people questioned them whether citizens really enjoy freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, association, parade, demonstration and other rights under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.  They also questioned on what ground these government officials and employees who are financed by all the tax payers of the People’s Republic and who are clad in law enforcement uniforms came to interfere in the freedom of belief of the citizens.  To this, they shouted shamelessly: “Don’t talk about the Constitution to us!” and showed a face as if they were saying: “I am the law.  What can you do to me?” The Shouwang Church of Beijing has been trying to register at the government agencies ever since 2005.  In August 2006, Haidian District Office for Administration of Ethnic Religious Affairs of Beijing rejected their application on the ground that “the pastor is not certified by the religious organizations in the city.”  In July 2007, this church submitted to the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the People’s Republic of China a copy of “Opinions from Shouwang Christian Church of Beijing on Registration of the Church,” so far, it hasn’t got any reply from the State Administration for Religious Affairs.  Some people speculate that this shows the Chinese government is intensifying its administration and control on various religious activities before the Olympic Games.   We can see that the Chinese government has not at all kept its promises it made to the international community on human rights. Instead, they are all the more suppressing and trampling on the citizens’ rights in the name of the Olympic Games.As we all know, they have never allowed people to publish and distribute the Bible in public in China. While the Chinese Constitution stipulates that the citizens have the freedom of publications and the freedom of religious belief, they have completely become empty talks in reality. Just as Pastor Jin Tianming of Shouwang Church said in his sermon: “In fact, we respect the government, but the most basic thing for Christians is the freedom to worship God. This is not negotiable. It is just like the fact that a human being has the right to walk and to eat. If one is persecuted for walking and eating, how can people talk about freedom in this country in the first place?”History will record the evil doings committed by those who help the wicked perpetuate wicked deeds.  What we can understand is that it is not the fault or the evil of the policemen and the employees from the Office of Administration of Ethnic Religious Affairs who participated in the raid.  They only served as the henchmen for the state-sponsored violence.   It is likely that some of these people joined in this group evil-doing out of concern for their livelihood.  However, many people are already used to being insufferably arrogant and bossy, trampling on other people’s rights, lording it over on the people who do not have rights and helping the wicked perpetuate wicked deed.
Published on May 11, 2008© Copyright of China Aid Association.

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