Friend of Dr. Fan Expresses Concern

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ChinaAid Association

(BEJING -- Dec. 15, 2010)
Wang Shuangyang, a house church minister from Beijing, wrote the following open letter to express her feelings about the current situation of Dr. Fan Yafeng, who has been in police custody for a week.

December 14, 2010
Please remember Fan Yafeng and his wife in your prayers.A few days ago, I learned that Yafeng was in police custody and would be detained for four days. I thought it was only because of the Nobel Peace Prize, but now four days are up and Yafeng has not been released. Instead, his house was searched and his wife, Wu Lingling, was summoned to the police station. Obviously, things were not as simple as I thought. I could not get through to either the home phone or the cell phone of Yafeng’s wife Lingling. It was said that their Internet access has also been disconnected.

This afternoon, I went to visit Lingling at Shengshan Research Institute. When I exited the elevator, I was blocked in the corridor and they wouldn’t even let me touch the door of the apartment unit. After that, police took me to a guard room downstairs for interrogation and gathered my information from my identification card.
The police told me I would not be able to see the person I want to visit. When I asked that they deliver a pastry that I brought for Yafeng’s son to express my greetings to Lingling as a friend, even this request was rejected. I went to the lobby and could not enter from there either. Yet, I was not willing to give it up. Still, I began to cry because my friend was in so much trouble. I did not know what to do and felt confused and frustrated.
Yafeng has been summoned several times, but this time I am extremely worried for his safety, especially for these long detentions. Yafeng has been fasting for about 50 days now; he only eats four meals a week and his health condition is poor.
I also miss Lingling.  In the past, she was allowed to be with her brothers and sisters in Christ, but now authorities have cut her contact with the outside world. She is now like a lonely island and has to face an unknown future all by herself.
I don’t know how much support Yafeng can receive. Though the government banned the Sunday gatherings at Shengshan (Holy Mountain) Research Institute, I know they will not make accusations against Yafeng based on his faith. They may use political reasons or economic reasons.
I am not clear whether the churches themselves will regard this as other people’s affairs and will not get involved. There are simply too many “differences” between the churches.
I have known Yafeng and his wife for some years and I have always admired him. We don’t necessarily agree with each other in everything, but I have always believed that Yafeng is a brave man with lofty goals and ideals. Lingling is much younger than I and I appreciate her boldness in sharing these burdens with her husband.
The Christian Human Rights Lawyers of China, in which Yafeng is a member, is a brave group of advocates. They dare to voice their opinions. They boldly defend the rights of all kinds of people. They are often attacked, and these misunderstanding and differences are tests that bring their hearts to lonely suffering. I simply admire Yafeng, his wife and this legal group!
After the Lausanne incident, I have been thinking about the scope of faith. In the traditional way of thinking, righteousness, honesty and human rights are outside the scope of faith.  That is why house churches have kept a respectable distance from human rights attorneys.
However, human rights attorneys have done many things that house churches have not achieved. They also need the support from the churches. May God help us close this gap between us.
This time, the government may expose some so far unknown weaknesses of Yafeng to discourage his supporters. In the past, I was very suspicious concerning many of his incidents; I strained out every gnat but swallowed many camels, so to speak. This time I just want to say, “No matter how this incident turns out, we will always be together with each other!”
Wang Shuangyan
A House Church minister from Beijing
(She is one of two hundreds Chinese delegates for 2010 Lausanne Congress barred in Beijing and was harassed physically by secret police on Oct. 13, 2010)

Please continue in prayer for Dr. Fan and his family. May God keep him safe, and may his wife and son be able to fellowship with Christ in these lonely times.

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