“Time is of the essence”: Mayflower Church detained by Thailand Immigration

(Bangkok, Thailand—March 30, 2023) ChinaAid confirmed this morning that Thai Immigration detained the 63 members of the Mayflower Church. If the U.S. government does not act, the exiled Christians will be sent back to China where they face certain retaliation, abuse, and prison time for speaking out on the persecution.  


Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church escaped harsh persecution, interrogations, and imprisonment at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Due to their journey to escape oppression and practice their religion freely, many in the international community refer to them as the Mayflower Church.  


Pastor Pan Yongguang led his 60 members to Jeju Island, South Korea, in late 2019. After exhausting their legal options in South Korea, they arrived in Thailand to apply for UN refugee status. They have been there since August 2022 under the imminent threat of international kidnapping and repatriation. 


In an awful turn of events, all 63 members of the Mayflower Church have been detained by Thai police putting them in immediate danger of refoulment.  


Should the asylum seekers be forced to return to China, they will face imminent threats to their safety and be charged with baseless crimes at the whim of the CCP. Considering previous international kidnapping cases, Chinese authorities will severely punish the exiled Christians for a false confession to any crime. 


Bob Fu, Founder and President of ChinaAid, reiterates the urgency of the situation: 


All Mayflower Church members were detained in Thailand this morning. In front of two Americans from Tyler Texas, over 20 Thai Immigration police raided the hotel where the Mayflower members were staying. Time is of the essence. Before the Chinese government demands repatriation, the international community can help prevent this tragedy from happening. 


READ: Radio Free Asia interviews Fu concerning Mayflower Church detention

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