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Enemy of Humanity

Chen Guangcheng, a civil rights activist and Chinese dissident, said that the Chinese Communist Party is an “enemy of humanity.”

Blind since childhood, Chen taught himself  law and became involved in “human rights” activism, particularly around issues of “forced abortions” and other abuses relating to the “one child policy.”

Known as the “Barefoot Lawyer” he was first “imprisoned” for four years in 2006, after which he was kept under “tight house arrest” for years until his dramatic 2012 escape.

“The CCP is an enemy of humanity. It is terrorizing its own people, and it is threatening the well-being of the world,” he said in a speech during the Republican National Convention, listening a variety of issues including China’s oppression of “Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, an ongoing crackdown in Hong Kong, and threats towards Taiwan.”  

Chen conducted his speech by reading Braille and speaking in English. He warned about the “evils” of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after experiencing their “tyranny” firsthand.

He added that China’s silencing of dissent made it all the more urgent for the United States to “use its values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law to gather a coalition of other democracies to stop CCP’s aggression.”

“Standing up to tyranny is not easy. I know. When I spoke out against China’s ‘one child’ policy and other injustices, I was persecuted, beaten, and put under house arrest by the government. In April, 2012, I escaped and was given shelter in the American embassy in Beijing. I am forever grateful to the American people for welcoming me and my family to the United States where we are now free,” Guangcheng said.

“The Chinese Communist Party is an enemy of humanity. It is terrorizing its own people and it is threatening the well-being of the world. In China, expressing beliefs or ideas not approved by the CCP – religion, democracy, human rights – can lead to prison. The nation lives under mass surveillance and censorship. The CCP is focused on power and control, and acts without regard to the law or to human rights.  Countless activists have disappeared or are under house arrest. Just consider the sad plight of the Uyghurs in concentration camps.”

Guangcheng also discussed the CCP’s latest “assault” on the world.

“The coronavirus pandemic, originating in China—and covered up by the CCP—has caused mass death and social upheaval around the world. In the same way, the virus of the CCP is threatening the people of the world. The policy of appeasement of former administrations—including Obama and Biden—has allowed the CCP to infiltrate and corrode different aspects of the global community,” he said.

“The US must use its values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, to gather a coalition of other democracies to stop China’s aggression. President Trump has led on this and we need the other countries to join him in this fight. A fight for our future,” Guangcheng continued.

Chen Guangcheng, known for his harrowing escape from Chinese house arrest in 2012, praised Trump for leading the fight “to stop China’s aggression,” and called on Americans “to support, vote, and fight for President Trump for the sake of the world.” 

Speaking at the largely online Republican convention, Chen called the Chinese Communist party (CCP) an “enemy of humanity” and said Trump had led a coalition of other democracies to “stop CCP aggression.”

“It is terrorizing its own people and it is threatening the well being of the world. In China expressing beliefs or ideas not approved by the CCP, religion, democracy, human rights, can lead to prison or death,” he said.

The endorsement from the prominent dissident underlines how much Trump has centered his re-election bid on taking a hard stance with Beijing.

Chen escaped house arrest in 2012 by scaling walls and feeling his way through fields and farmland with a broken foot. He sought “refuge” at the US embassy in Beijing and became the focus of a “diplomatic” crisis between the two countries before he was allowed to leave China for the US.

Detailing his experience at the hands of Chinese security agents after speaking out against forced abortions and sterilizations as part of the country’s one-child policy, Chen said: “I was persecuted, beaten, sent to prison and put under house arrest by the CCP. Standing up to tyranny isn’t easy. I know. So does the president.”

Chen is among a number of Chinese activists who have found an unlikely hero in Trump who they see as taking a harder line against China. Relations with Beijing have plummeted under Trump, who has made being tough on China a key plank of his reelection campaign.

Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, also inveighed against Beijing and praised Trump for pulling “back the curtain on the predatory aggression of the Chinese Communist Party.”

According to the Pew Research Center, Americans in both parties “now see China much more negatively than in the recent past,” with 83% of Republicans surveyed saying they have a unfavorable view of the country. While Republicans have long been suspicious of Beijing, Democrats in recent years have also become more suspicious — 68% of supporters surveyed said they viewed China unfavorably — so there is growing consensus on the issue.

Many Chinese dissidents living in the US are vocal supporters of Trump’s hard line on China. Chen is closely linked to Bob Fu, a conservative Christian pastor who has described himself as “God’s Double Agent.” Fu has met with Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence and praised Trump on social media.

Fu assisted in Chen’s departure from China and later was involved in him getting positions at the Witherspoon Institute, a conservative think tank based in New Jersey, as well as Catholic University in Washington.

While he expressed gratitude at the time, Chen has emerged as a frequent and fierce “critic” of the Obama administration and Democratic politics in general.  Ahead of his speech at the RNC, he tweeted a video of a pro-Trump demonstrator “defacing” a Black Lives Matter display in New York, with the caption “freedom.”

In prepared remarks sent out prior to the speech, Chen attacked “the policy of appeasement of former administrations, including Obama and Biden,” which he said had “allowed the CCP to infiltrate and corrode different aspects of the global community.” However, in the live speech to the RNC, he did not mention Obama.

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Pastor Wang Yi Sentencing

Pastor Wang Yi and wife Jiang Rong. (China Aid)

The sentencing of pastor Wang Yi to “nine years” in prison for “subversion” and “illegal business activities” shows how authorities in China are increasingly “intolerant” of unregistered churches, sources said.

Pastor Wang of “Early Rain Covenant Church” in Chengdu, capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan Province, was sentenced in closed-door proceedings for “inciting subversion of state power,” authorities announced on Monday, December 30, 2019.

As part of his sentence, Pastor Wang will have about $7,200 of his assets seized and be “stripped of political rights” for three years, according to a government statement.

“This is a pure case of unjust religious persecution against a peaceful preacher of a Chinese reformed church,” Bob Fu, president of advocacy organization “China Aid Association” (CAA), said in a press statement.

“This grave sentence demonstrates President Xi Jinping’s regime is determined to be the enemy of universal values and religious freedom. We call upon the international community to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party and hold this evil regime accountable.”

“Public security officials have also required many of the church’s members to meet with them five times a day,” he added.

Security personnel had arrested Pastor Wang and more than 100 members of his church in a December 9, 2018 raid; most of them have been released, while Pastor Wang’s wife and child remained under house arrest.

Early Rain Covenant Church elder Qin Defu was sentenced to four years in prison on November 29, according to China Aid. Qin was charged with illegal business operations as a result of the church using 20,000 Christian books, according to CAA. The convictions of him and Pastor Wang for “illegal business activity” are reportedly related to the church printing and distributing Christian books.

Church members were “tortured” to obtain information, to compel them to make false accusations against Pastor Wang and to fabricate evidence that he “colluded with foreigners to incite subversion of state power,” according to “Bitter Winter,”  a daily publication on “human rights” in China based in Italy.

“The fabricated evidence has now been used. The court was surrounded by armed police, and both relatives of the pastor and Early Rain Church members were prevented from entering,” Bitter Winter reported in a December 30th article.

“Apparently, Wang Yi’s influence in China’s house churches scared the Chinese Communist Party. He was among the initiators of the joint statement by pastors denouncing the persecution of house churches in China.”

The harsh sentence confirms that new regulations on religious affairs that came into effect in 2018 are aiding in a systematic crackdown on house churches, according to Bitter Winter. Unregistered churches are no longer tolerated as merely part of a “gray market,” a segment of society including churches, mosques and temples that refuse to join official Chinese religious organizations and not listed as “Xie Jiao” prohibited entities to be severely punished as they are seen as hostile to the CCP.

“Either they join the government-controlled Three-Self Church, or they are suppressed. As Pastor Wang Yi said himself, the persecution of Christians under Xi Jinping is the most horrendous evil in Chinese society.

Pastor Wang was a “human rights” activist and a “constitutional scholar” before becoming a pastor.

Under the new religion regulations, house churches have been forced to “dissolve” if they refuse to register, according to an attorney quoted in The Epoch Times, adding that those registering are subject to surveillance, monitoring of sermons and other heavy-handed measures.

The U.S. State Department included China among 10 countries designated as “Countries of Particular Concern” for severe religious rights violations.

China ranked 23th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

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Replacing Crosses with Chinese Flags

Beijing is demolishing crosses and replacing them with Chinese flags as part of Xi Jinping’s efforts to “Sinicize” Christianity — ensuring the religion is completely subordinate to the atheist Communist Party, the U.S. government and independent experts told American lawmakers.

Citing China’s “Plan Outline of the Five-Year Plan (2018-2022) on Promoting the Sinicization of Christianity” launched in March, Dr. Bob Fu, the president of the pro-religious freedom China Aid group, told a House panel:

“The “Plan Outline” made it clear that the “Sinicization of Christianity” means to change “Christianity in China” into “Chinese Christianity,” emphasizing that “the heart and soul of Christianity’s Sinicization is to Sinicize the Christian theology,” and even proposing to “re-translate the Bible or re-write biblical commentaries.”

Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, the chair of the independent United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), noted that the Xi administration’s persecution of Christians and other faith adherents has intensified in recent years.

In his written testimony, Dr. Dorjee told House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Human Rights:

“USCIRF began reporting on China in our very first Annual Report and has continued to do so every year since because of that country’s systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom. … Regrettably, the conditions USCIRF first reported in China nearly two decades ago have not improved. In fact, the conditions have worsened under President Xi Jinping due to the “Sinicization” and securitization of religion. Religions must accord with communist ideology, and religious freedom is most severely restricted in the name of national security.”

Echoing Fu, the federal agency’s chair revealed that communist government officials are destroying crosses across China’s Christian communities and replacing them with Chinese flags.

Dr. Dorjee said:

“The already poor situation for Christians, like other religious groups, has markedly declined since new religious regulations came into effect on February 1 this year. Just days prior to the regulations, Chinese police used dynamite to annihilate the evangelical Golden Lampstand Church. 

More recently, authorities shut down Zion Church, one of Beijing’s largest unregistered Protestant house churches. Across several provinces, authorities have confiscated Bibles, demolished churches, moved or destroyed crosses and other religious symbols—sometimes replacing them with the Chinese flag —and arrested countless Christians.”

The witnesses who testified during Thursday’s hearing, which also included Dr. Thomas Farr, the president of the Religious Freedom Institute, indicated that China had declared war on Christianity and other faith groups.

Farr told lawmakers:

“The current assault on religion in China under President Xi Jinping is the most comprehensive attempt to manipulate and control religious communities since the Cultural Revolution…Within China, Xi’s policy intensifies a decades-long government strategy of undermining a major threat to the authority of the communist state – namely, that religion is a source of authority, and an object of fidelity, that is greater than the state. This characteristic of religion has always been anathema to totalitarian and authoritarian despots, and to majoritarian democracies.”

The experts urged the United States to take action against China in defense of religious freedom. According to various media reports, the Trump administration is considering sanctions against Chinese officials involved in the ongoing repression of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority acknowledged by the House panel witnesses.

Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well as the return of Jesus at the second coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming.”

May the sweetness of Jesus be ever so strong this Christmas season!

Building Leadership Communities and Citywide Movements

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China’s New Communist Bible

To stop the astronomical growth of Christianity in China, the Chinese government has devised a new plan – “rewrite the Bible” and force churches to sing “communist anthems.”

According to Rev. Bob Fu in his testimony to Congress, founder of China Aid, the Chinese government plans to incorporate Buddhist scripture and Confucian teachings into the Bible and edit worship songs to include Chinese characteristics.

The official government church and the Chinese Christian Council (China’s state-sanctioned Protestant bodies) have developed a five-year plan to make the Chinese Bible translation more Chinese by adding elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Communism.

The plan, finalized at a meeting this March, proposes “cultivating and implementing the socialist core values” and will be supervised by the national religious affairs bureau. “Every province, autonomous region and municipality’s TSPM and CCC seminaries and churches will cooperate with it,” according to Fu.

The Chinese government currently controls the ordination and training of the clergy members, but that has not stopped the growth of the illegal underground house church. The Chinese government controls the number of new members that are allowed to baptized per year. The government even controls how many Bibles are allowed to be printed and distributed per year, but none of this has stopped the amazing growth of the underground house church.

The underground church has grown in spite of the best efforts of the Communist Party to stomp it out. The growth of the underground house church has been documented in the book “The Underground Church”  which takes you on an underground journey to understand the inner workings of the church in China.

Much of the confusion is caused by the Chinese government, which deceives journalist and foreign missionaries with promises of religious freedom that are never kept. The truth is, the house churches of China are growing at a phenomenal rate. Never in the history of the world have so many people in such a short time left one belief system for another without a hostile revolution. Lives in China are being transformed daily by the gospel of Jesus Christ and the display of His miraculous power and the astonishing growth has as many as 20,000 are coming to faith every day.

After years of failing to stop the growth of Christianity, the government has finally decided to dilute it and change to the nature of the teachings that it does not agree with.

Here is a testimony of Mai Fu Ren whose life was changed by the Bible when it was illegal in China to have one. He later devoted his life to sharing it with the rest of his country at a time when it would and did cost him his freedom for over 30 years.

China Trying to ‘Rewrite the Bible,’ Force Churches to Sing Communist Anthems

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Chinese Christian Advocates

Persecution against Christians, Muslims, and other religious groups in communist China has escalated as Communist Party leader Xi Jinping’s atheist regime attempts to crack down on religion in the country, a top official from a U.S. religious freedom panel and a human rights lawyer revealed.

Bob Fu, the founder and president of the U.S.-based Christian human rights group China Aid, and Kristina Arriaga, the vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), indicated that China’s oppressive tactics employed against Christians have intensified in recent years.

Their comments came in response to a question on the state of “Christianity in China” posed during a discussion on religious oppression sponsored by the Heritage Foundation.

“A lot of things have happened in the last few months that are very troubling for the future of Christianity in China. The situation for Christians there is dire. One thing we know for sure is that the persecution against Christians has doubled in intensity,” Arriaga said.

Earlier, she noted that communist authorities recently demolished the “Golden Lampstand Church” in addition to taking down crosses and religious iconography from various other worshiping centers.

Golden Lampstand Church.

Echoing Arriaga, human rights lawyer Fu said the number of persecuted Christians in China has “dramatically increased” over the last year.

“The number of people we documented who are persecuted among just Christians alone last year reached 223,000 compared to these 48,000 in 2016,” the human rights lawyer explained, adding:

“When the communist party took power the number of Christians was estimated to be about less than 1 million in 1949, but now according to the Purdue University sociologist research, the number of Chinese Christians already reached over 100 million. They projected that by 2030 the number of Christians would reach at least 224 million. So it is a staggering development.”

Fu noted that persecution has only fueled the growth of Christianity in China to the dismay of Xi. “Apparently the persecution will only help accelerate the growth,” he proclaimed, noting that even the number of Christians “who worship at the government churches had dramatically increased.”

“You can see that Xi has particular animosity against Christianity in particular,” Fu said, acknowledging that the communist regime has identified “underground churches” as a “severe national security threat,” along with political dissidents and human rights lawyers.

Fu is a Christian refugee himself who fled China after Beijing imprisoned him and his wife for two months for “illegal evangelism” in 1996.

Holding her young child, Li Aijie, a U.S.-based Christian refugee who fled Chinese persecution, shared her ordeal, stressing that Beijing sentenced her husband to 19 years in prison for “criticizing” the Chinese Communist Party on social media.

Her plight highlights the Communist government’s brutal treatment of Christians and other faith adherents who refuse to conform to the party’s atheist views.

The human rights lawyer noted that China had expanded its surveillance tactics to monitor all religious Chinese, particular Muslim Uyghurs in the province of Xinjiang and Christians.

Beijing has “forced” churches to install “face recognition systems,” Fu revealed. “Every church in China is forced to install face recognition systems and every church building  is forced to put a sign up banning children, students, civil servants, military personnel, and communist party members from entering,” Fu noted during the discussion.

“They use the face recognition systems to record the image and try to purge the communist party member who dared enter the church,” he continued.

Consistent with the tenets of communism, China’s government prohibits employees from practicing religion.

Arriaga described the predominantly Muslim autonomous province of Xinjiang and the adjacent Tibet Autonomous Region as “police states,” noting:

“Thanks to government policy, the Tibetans and the Uighur Muslims basically live in a police state. The state not only bans the practice of religion, it’s also suppressing any cultural practice associated with religion. For instance, Tibetans, as you know, cannot study their language or their culture.”

The Xi administration is an equal-opportunity oppressor, indicated the official from the U.S. commission, explaining that “all faith adherence in China are subject to extrajudicial detention.”

“People are held against their will for months at a time without contact with their family and the outside world under horrible conditions,” she said.

Li confirmed that China is keeping her husband under deplorable conditions. While thanking U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration for granting her “refuge” in America, she asked for help in “liberating” her husband.

Arriaga acknowledged that the Trump administration is taking action to promote “religious freedom” in China.

Xi stressed at the quinquennial Communist Party conference last year “that all religions must be ‘Chinese-oriented,’ as part of his effort to ‘Sinicize religion,’ or make it more Chinese, by instilling socialist core values.”

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Chongyi Church

Chongyi Church 02

Communist officials have “arrested and jailed” Gu Yuese (Joseph), the pastor of the 10,000-member “Chongyi Church” in Hangzhou which is China’s first Christian “mega” church.

Police have reportedly sent Gu to a “black jail,” a detention facility outside of the country’s established “penal” system.

As a member of China’s “state-approved” Protestant denomination, the “Three-Self Patriotic Movement” (TSPM), Gu was a pastor in “good standing” with the Communist Party until he began publicly “protesting” the government-sponsored campaign to “remove and demolish” crosses in the Zhejiang province in 2014.

Chongyi Church 05

Though the pastor is ostensibly being held under charges of “embezzlement of funds,” Gu’s detention is actually “political revenge” for Gu’s disloyalty to the Chinese Communist Party’s religious policy” according to Bob Fu, president of the US-based Christian human rights group “China Aid.”

“In the past two weeks 18 crosses were removed and destroyed,” Fu said, adding that in total “at least 1,800 crosses of churches were demolished since the campaign started.”

Zhejiang, a province located in the south east of China, is home to many churches, particularly in the city of Wenzhou and Gu’s Chongyi Church is in the province’s capital city of Hangzhou.

Chongyi Church 06

Fu called the arrest an “escalation” in China’s crackdown on Christians, which has mostly targeted “house” churches, saying that it sends a signal “to silence any potential future dissenting voices from within the church. It tells everyone to shut up.”

Gu and his wife, Zhou Lian Mei, who has also been taken “prisoner” and is being held in a separate facility, prepared a statement for members of their congregation, asking for “prayers” and urging members to stay “strong in the face of trials.”

Chongyi Church is experiencing “unprecedented, chilling trials,” they wrote. “Everyone must equally rely on the Lord’s grace to confront [this hardship] and triumph over it.”

The couple also wrote that the ordeal “will refine every impurity in our ministry team to the greatest extent and compel us to love the Lord and people more purely. People in Chongyi Church will worship the only true God!”

David Ro, international deputy director for East Asia of the Lausanne Movement, has suggested that the Communist Party’s “clampdown” on Christian churches may reflect a campaign to “indigenize” Christianity, removing traces of its “ties” with the West.

“Three-Self churches with huge buildings and highly visible red crosses appear to resemble Western cathedrals, in contrast to the less visible ‘indigenous’ house church Christianity which some officials may feel is more appropriate for China,” Ro wrote.

Chongyi Church 03

Ro also cited “internal” politics as well as an “emerging leftist movement with nostalgia for Mao” among possible factors behind the “persecution.”

China’s “crusade” against the Christian cross has continued “unabated” since 2014 and reflects a particular “animus” toward the central symbol of the “Christian” faith.

“The authorities have attached great importance to this religious symbol,” said Zheng Leguo, a pastor from the Zhejiang province who now lives in the United States. “This means no more prominent manifestation of Christianity in the public sphere.”

Last October, the Chinese Communist party announced its intentions to “intensify” restrictions on Christian churches, following on a series of government measures meant to “intimidate” Chinese Christians, such as arbitrary “detention” of Christian clergy and the “closing” of churches.

According to a Reuters report, under President Xi Jinping, China is “conducting” the worst domestic crackdown on “human rights” in two decades and much of this is “against” Christians. Nearly 1,000 rights activists were “detained” last year alone—almost as many as in the previous two years combined.

Chongyi Church 04

In late August, police “arrested” China’s most prominent Christian lawyer, Zhang Kai, who defended and gave “legal” counsel to a number of “Christian” churches throughout the country, especially against the government’s “cross-removal” campaign.

Zhang and his intern Liu Peng were “arrested” the night before he was to “meet” with US ambassador-at-large for “international religious freedom,” David Saperstein.

China’s increasing “hostility” toward Christianity may also reflect an awareness and growing “frustration” with the religion’s continued growth in the officially “atheist” nation.

Though the Chinese Communist Party is the largest “explicitly” atheist organization in the world, with 85 million official members, it is now “overshadowed” by an estimated 100 million Christians in China.

Christianity is “growing” so fast in China that some predict that it will be the most Christian nation in the world in only another 15 years. By far, the greatest growth is coming “outside” the official state-sanctioned churches, which are considered “subservient” to the Communist Party. Numbers are increasing mostly in unofficial Protestant “house churches” and in the “underground” Catholic church.

China began forcefully “demolishing” crosses from churches since 2014. Crucifixes being a prominent “Christian” sign, serve as an “integral” part of every church building across the “world” but due to China’s policies, religious freedom is in “danger” and Christians feel “unsafe, insecure and deprived” of their rights.

Chongyi Church 01

Build a Church Without Walls

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