Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2012) – International Christian Concern (ICC) learned yesterday that the White House has ignored multiple attempts by the wives of imprisoned Chinese Christian human rights activists to obtain a meeting with the president, vice-president, or a member of the current administration.
The two women, Li Jing and Geng He, testified at a Congressional hearing yesterday of the “horrific” abuse their husbands, Guo Quan and Gao Zhisheng, both Christians, have faced for their stance on human rights at the hands of the Chinese government. Meanwhile, just a few miles away, China’s Vice-President, Xi Jinping, received an unprecedented welcome at the Pentagon, complete with a 300 man honor guard and a 19 gun salute.
The news comes as reports of government persecution in China, especially against Chinese house church Christians, are on the rise. According to rights group ChinaAid, 2011 marked the worst year for religious freedom in China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, and 2012 is expected to be even more difficult. China also blocked an attempted visit to investigate religious human rights abuses a few days ago by the U.S ambassador for international religious freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook.
When asked during the hearing how her husband found the courage to speak out when faced with torture and imprisonment, Li Jing responded that the Bible taught love as a commitment, and that as a Christian, her husband feels compelled to speak for those who are oppressed.
Later, in an interview with ICC, Li Jing related how her husband had drawn inspiration from his Christian faith when authoring two of the four books which would eventually result in his imprisonment. Despite this, her faith remains steadfast and she hopes that her son, Guo Yi, will be able to learn more about Christianity while growing up in the United States.
International Christian Concern’s Regional Manager for China, Ryan Morgan, said “Yesterday, the Obama administration demonstrated a blatant disregard for the ongoing violations of human rights and religious freedom taking place in China. Has the presidential administration decided that the very values it was elected to protect mean nothing when it comes to our relationship with China? This is completely unacceptable, and for the sake of every human rights activist facing oppression at the hands of the Chinese government, we call on the Obama administration to reverse course and address human rights abuses in China openly and at the highest levels.”