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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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ChinaAid Tells Religious Persecution Conference About House Church Persecution in China

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

image(Washington, D.C. – July 13, 2011) Promoting freedom of religion for Christians in China will contribute to the establishment of a civil society that could eventually lead to democracy in China, ChinaAid spokesman Mark Shan told a media conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
ChinaAid was asked by the organizers of the “Stop Religious Persecution Now” conference, The Washington Times and another sponsor, to introduce the situation in China in the session “Persecuted Faith Groups.
In his talk entitled “Red Storm and First Domino: The Chinese Communist Government’s Persecution of Christian ‘House’ Churches and its Implications for the Building of a Civil Society in China,” Shan first gave an overview of the persecution trends in 2010, including the crackdown on Christian human rights lawyers, the increasing use of mafia-like tactics by government officials and law enforcement officers, and the government attacks even on its own government-approved Three-Self churches. He noted that this year is the sixth straight year of escalating persecution.
The full text of his prepared statement is here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B9q8i6gw7oZmNjg3ZmUwMTgtNDVhNC00YTc5LWE2ZjItNjQ0M2ZmYjE0N2Ix&hl=en_US

Shan then emphasized the need to promote and protect freedom of religion for Christians in China. Drawing an analogy with “the domino theory” that guided U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War, Shan said, “Freedom of religion for Christians is the first domino in the chain of events that will lead to religious freedom for all, and religious freedom will serve as a stepping stone toward political rights, the last fundamental building block of a civil society in China as it moves toward democracy and the rule of law.”
Shan explained that Christianity, as the fastest-growing religion in China, has become a major player in Chinese society. “Today, those Christian communities in the house church movement are emerging as a new social and spiritual imagebuilding-block of society,” he said.
As an example of the growing influence of house churches, he told the conference about the current church-state standoff in Beijing between the government and Shouwang Church and said, “They have exercised non-violent civil disobedience for the sake of their faith and the significance of Shouwang’s civil disobedience could not be more clear:  It is the only collective act of public civil disobedience by Chinese citizens since the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. “

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