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Concerned Group Issues Prayer Letter Supporting Dr. Fan

Friday, December 17, 2010

ChinaAid Association(Beijing -- Dec. 17, 2010) Since October, Chinese authorities have seriously disrupted Dr. Fan Yafeng’s life. He has been detained five times, and remains in police custody since his last detention on Dec. 9. His wife and son have been put under close surveillance, and their movements are restricted.

Many people fear that authorities are planning to criminally prosecute Fan and that he could be locked away for many years as authorities attempt to silence him and other upstanding Christians like him.

Due to this dangerous and urgent situation, a group of people in China have organized a prayer group for Dr. Fan and his family.

The group has written a letter expressing concern and support for this human rights lawyer and church leader.

The full text of the letter is below
:


Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me. (Matthew: 25.40)
Dear fellow members in Christ:

Peace be with you! Brother Fan Yafeng was summoned by authorities in Beijing at 9 a.m. on December 9, 2010. There was no reason given for the summoning, and his current whereabouts are unknown.

As of today, he has been illegally detained for several days. It is the fifth time he has been detained since October 2010. Also, at 8 p.m. on December 12, Brother Yafeng’s wife, Wu Lingling, was also summoned. While she was being interrogated, police went to the office of Shengshan Institute and seized 77 items from the office, including computers, cell phones, camcorders, bank deposit booklets, bank cards, cash and copies of Shengshan Magazine. After that, they went to Brother Fan Yafeng’s house and seized 37 items.

Brother Fan Yafeng was born in 1969 and is a native of Anhui province, and he currently resides in Beijing with his wife and son. He is a famous Christian scholar on constitutionalism. He received his Master’s Degree in Law from Peking University in 1995. In 2003, he received his Doctor’s Degree in Law from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He was a research fellow at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (his term was not renewed in November 2009 due to “political reasons”) and the founder of the rights defense theory and subsequent movement in China. He is the leader of Christian Human Rights Lawyers of China (CHRLC), Holy Mountain (Shengshan) Church and Zhongfu (Holy Mountain) Shengshan Cultural Research Institute.

In 1997, Brother Fan accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized after Pastor Wang Zhiyong preached the gospel to him.  In the months before and after he was baptized, he became keenly aware of his depravity and the sins in his own life. He admitted his sins and repented before God. By the grace of the Lord Jesus, he was cleansed and renewed.  Such a loving God redeemed him from sins and guided him on the road ahead. 

Since 2001, Brother Fan Yafeng has been delivering sermons in churches. Fan also began to study Reformed and Puritan theology. He is deeply influenced by Calvin, Luther and St. Augustine. He is a devout Christian who loves the Lord and adheres to the true way, and he emphasizes fasting, spiritual growth and prayer. He is an avid reader of the Bible. 

After the double equipment of professional knowledge in law and the spiritual life, God used Cai Zhuohua’s case in 2005 to bring Brother Fan into the field of rights defense for the churches in China. He worked hard to provide legal assistance and assistance in other aspects to persecuted churches and brothers and sisters in Christ.

With the help of the Lord, he fights for the kingdom of God. Brother Fan once said, “I have already made up my mind that no matter the price I must pay -- even if it costs me my life -- I will fight for the coming of God’s kingdom of righteousness and grace and I believe we will emerge victorious by the grace of the Lord.”

For the sake of God’s love and righteousness, he has endured this difficult road of rights defense. Although he has experienced various types of dangers and suffered many attacks and much verbal abuse, he has persisted by relying on the Lord. 

In 2005, he was selected as Man of the Year by Asian Newsweek. In April 2010, he won the John Leland Religious Liberty Award issued by Southern Baptist Convention. In his acceptance speech, Brother Fan said, “The 2009 Religious Liberty Award is issued to the entire Shengshan group and to Christian Human Rights Lawyers of China. I am only a representative. 

“In fact, behind me is a large group of brothers and sisters who are praying for us in silence, and some who are suffering persecution and tribulation. In hardships and sufferings, they adhere to the faith of God and adhere to the freedom under grace.

Their whole-hearted devotion as they take up the cross in denial of themselves has brought a continuous revival to the Chinese house churches. I myself am one of the fruits in this wave of revival.”

After the 2010 Nobel Prize and the Lausanne Congress, house churches in China have once again become the target of suppression by the government. It is against this backdrop that Brother Fan became subject to various types of harassment and suppression by the government , beginning on October 19, 2010. He has been summoned by police and interrogated five times. His seminars were raided twice and he was violently beaten by police twice.

He has been illegally detained and has yet to be released. His Sunday gatherings are banned, and his computers were searched. A total of 114 items have been confiscated by authorities.

According to multiple reliable sources, the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security subordinate to the Politburo delivered a secret document which labeled the house church as a cult, and therefore they will be suppressed throughout the country. 

The action is coded as “Operation Deterrence,” and is set to be carried out between December of this year and March 2011. Orders have been issued to neighborhood committee systems all over the country to collect information on house churches, and a blacklist of people to be arrested has already been determined. They have listed four reasons for the suppression:

1) House churches advocate the Christianization of China.
2) House churches want to achieve the unity of all churches in China.
3) House churches want to achieve the unity of churches in China with those abroad.
4) House churches want to hold dialogues with the government.

The persecution of Fan and his team is obviously an important link in this round of the operation. Now Fan languishing in detention, possibly faces trial and his team now faces intimidation and persecution. 

House churches are also facing a new round of persecution. Just as Paul said, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

When churches and brothers and sisters everywhere in China were persecuted, Brother Fan Yafeng and his legal team, out of their love for Jesus Christ, presented themselves to work for their  fellow members in Christ. He has taken all kinds of risks and has paid a great price in caring for them, consoling them, and providing various kinds of legal and spiritual assistance to them.

Now that Fan and his team are suffering suppression because of their ministry, they urgently need support, care and prayer from brothers and sisters. We love each other in Christ and we also need to help the brother who needs help because doing this is doing to our Lord Jesus. Just as Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me” (Matthew: 25:40).

In this time of crisis, we implore all churches and members in Christ to seek in all humility help from our eternal God and pray for Brother Fan Yafeng and Sister Wu Lingling. Ask that the Lord strengthen and bless their faith, purify them and turn them into pure gold tested by fire. 

Please also ask the Lord to bless them and shield them from the attacks from the enemy and enjoy peace and stability in Christ. We ask members in Christ both in China and abroad to pray for Holy Mountain (Shengshan) Church headed by Brother Yafeng and all the brothers and sisters of the Shengshan team, to pray that the Lord strengthen their confidence, build and renew their lives, and give them wisdom so that they can become strong and brave with the help of the Lord and be joyful always.

We also ask that you pray for the rulers of China that God would make them devout and honest, and that they would live peacefully.

May the name of our heavenly Father be glorified. May His kingdom come and His will be done, and may He strengthen and console all the saints and bless all churches!

Sincerely in Christ,

Prayer Group for Brother Fan Yafeng

Read more about Dr. Fan’s situation:
Authorities Step Up Pressure Against Detained Human Rights Lawyer’s Wife, Son
Beijing Police Zero In On Holy Mountain Institute


China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org


"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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