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February 7, 2017

Wilberforce A!ert: A New Wave of Persecution

“House churches will be banned! Participants in unauthorized overseas religious conferences will receive severe punishment! Landlords who rent to religious organizations will face criminal prosecution!” Last week, President and Founder of ChinaAid Bob Fu warned political and religious leaders in Washington, D.C. that these are just some of many expanded restrictions about to be adopted in China.

Mr. Fu said the new regulations will expand bureaucratic control in China even further in the coming weeks, prohibiting house churches, Bible studies, or prayer meetings outside of Communist controlled institutions. “The religious freedom and human rights situation in China is the worst since the end of the cultural revolution in 1976,” Mr. Fu said.

The ChinaAid president spoke last Tuesday, January 31, at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. celebrating the organization’s 15th anniversary. Mr. Fu and his wife, Heidi, started the organization after fleeing to the U.S. when released from prison in China.

U.S. lawmakers who attended the celebration offered words of support for the work of ChinaAid, which is committed to promoting religious freedom and the rule of law in China. Among those attending included Senator Marco Rubio, who posted on social media that, “As long as Beijing continues to suppress religious freedom and basic human rights, I am committed to highlighting dissidents’ stories and fighting for their fundamental rights.”

Chen Guangcheng and his wife were among the many Chinese heroes at the event who have stood up against China’s unjust laws. Chen lost his eyesight when he was six months old. Though his handicap presented him with many challenges, he became known as the “barefoot lawyer” who fought for women’s rights, land rights and the welfare of the poor. His wife was also beaten, and his six-year-old daughter was banned from attending school.

Why should one of the most powerful nations in the world be afraid of a blind attorney? What is the threat of house churches that follow the compassionate teaching of Jesus? How can a government destroy church buildings and eradicate crosses from entire provinces? Why are human rights attorneys being rounded up and put in prison? Why does China spend billions for an Internet firewall that keeps its own citizens isolated?

Perhaps the new wave of restrictions reflects the panic of leaders who know their failed Communist philosophy has not worked. It may also be simply that the “light” of truth exposes the deeds of darkness. Celebrating ChinaAid’s anniversary – a close partner of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative – inspires us to continue to shine a bright light on injustice. Join us as we celebrate the past fifteen years of its exceptional advocacy, and work to free every last prisoner of conscience in China.

Take Action:

1. Read Open Doors USA’s new 2017 World Watch List update on China.

2. Read Bob Fu’s autobiography, “God’s Double Agent: The True Story of a Chinese Christian’s Fight for Freedom.”

3. Pray for ChinaAid as it continues to stand with the persecuted in China: www.chinaaid.org.

Category:
Region: Asia
Keywords: Bob Fu,ChinaAid,Marco Rubio,Chinese dissident,China persecution,Christian persecution,21st Century Wilberforce Initiative,21 Century Wilberforce Initiative,21 Wilberforce,21CWI

Randel Everett

Pastor Randel Everett is President and Founder of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. He spent four decades pastoring churches in Florida, Virginia, Arkansas, and Texas. He founded The John Leland Center for Theological Studies, led the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and currently serves in leadership for the Baptist World Alliance. Throughout his career, he has traveled to nearly 50 countries and seen persecution first-hand.

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The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is empowering a global movement to advance religious freedom as a universal right through advocacy, capacity building and technology.