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Friday, April 21, 2006

US Christians Detained Briefly after China Raid

Much news about the Falun Gong protester during the speech by President Hu Jintao of China. I have seen little about the arrests of Christians in China that included Americans.

Chinese police detained five US citizens in a raid last month on a Christian retreat in the country's southwest, an overseas church monitoring group said yesterday.

Interrogators accused the five of being "foreign religious infiltrators," it said -- not a formal criminal charge, but a reflection of the Communist Party's fears that outside forces are using burgeoning Christianity to undermine their rule.

About 120 officers took part in the raid on a conference center outside Kunming on the morning of March 23, said the association, based in Midland, Texas
This is not an isolated incident. There is a concerted effort on the part of the Chinese government to control any religious expression.

"According to reliable reports by China Aid Association, from February to December 2005, at least 1317 confirmed arrests of house church pastors, leaders, and believers have occurred in over twenty provinces in China. Seventeen foreign missionaries including eleven Americans in ten different provinces were arrested during this time. Most of the arrested were released after they were interrogated anywhere from 24 hours to several months."

"Religious groups which already had limited fundamental rights have been deemed a 'cult' at any time and have lost what legitimacy they previous held. Foreigners were ordered to leave the country after hours of interrogation," said the news release. "On August 2, 2005, the two American theological students from Westminster Theological Seminary were treated brutally and handcuff after they were arrested at a bible study site in Zaoyang City, Hubei Province. Both were denied their right to contact the US Embassy as part of the international consulate protection procedure guaranteed by US-China bilateral treaties.

It is hard to make the case that such a government can be friendly to the US. People of all religions should speak out against China. Corporations looking to set up shop in China might consider the risks of doing business in a country who's government is so hostile to religious expression. A government that is so hostile to individual rights would easily become hostile to business rights if it suited its interest.

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Anonymous brokengun said...

The Red Chinese are very dangerous. The Soviets tried to outdo us by buying weapons, the Chinese undid us by buying Clinton.
Businesses with capital to invest in China? What was it that P. T. Barnum said was born every minute?
One thing the Chinese do not understand though is Christianity. Persecute it and it grows, endorse it as the "state religion" and it withers away.

9:42 PM  

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