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Chinese Law & Religion Monitor Vol. 9, No. 1; January – June 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

China Aid Association, Aug 22, 2013BookCoverImage

Chinese Law & Religion Monitor by China Aid

January – June 2013; Vol. 9, No. 1

Editor’s Note

By “Bob” Xiqiu Fu
In the first half of 2013, the new Communist government under the leadership of Xi Jinping launched a dazzling "Rectification Campaign," marking the beginning of Emperor Xi defending his allies, attacking his opponents, and purging the Party. Against the backdrop of this kind of "tiger swatting a fly" campaign which doesn't hurt a hair of the impregnable crony capitalist corrupt interest groups, social injustice will further deteriorate, which can only result in society being sucked into a whirlpool of anxiety and unease and the [government's] forced stability maintenance [measures] causing further disturbances in the economy and social order. Even though the hopes placed on the "new politics of Xi and Li" have been shattered, people still want to figure out, is this the "political wisdom" of a master politician or [someone] who is at his "wit's end"? In these new circumstance of political winds shifting from left to right, the policy of persecuting and oppressing independent churches and other religious groups has remained alarmingly consistent and unrelenting. This is exactly what Jesus predicted when he warned in John 15:18, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."


This 2013 Spring-Summer issue of Chinese Law & Religion Monitor contains five papers that explore the main theme of Christianity's relationship with constitutionalism and the rule of law, and the basic principles of their mutual influence, including how to defend religious freedom and rights in China's current legal system, the justice monism principle of Christianity as the foundation for constitutionalism in Europe and the United States, the religious spirit and traditional Chinese culture and their relationship with society, the indivisibility of Christianity and the United States' democratic-civil society, and how the leftist government in the United States is using lawsuits and leftist institutes of higher education to limit religious freedom.

1. In "The Legal Dimensions of Religious Freedom in China: The Reality and the Outlook," prominent Chinese Christian rights defense lawyer Li Baiguang integrates theory and practical experience to analyze the importance of religion to human society and the definition of and restrictions on religious freedom in China's legal system and the resulting conflicts and confrontations. The author sums up the patterns of violation of freedom of religious belief by law enforcement agencies and explains how to use the current legal system to defend freedom of religious belief.

2. In "Christian Justice Monism: How Grace Fulfills the Law in Finite Politics," well-known constitutionalist philosopher Shen Yang argues that the Reformation confirms the incarnation of Jesus Christ and the unique implications of the Gospel message of the Cross to man's salvation. Grounded in the Reformed position, this paper emphasizes the holistic relationship between the law and grace. "Ecclesiology" is indispensable; unlike the Lutheran view that "the state decides, the church follows," justice monism centered around Christ's unique salvation is the key perspective to understanding the sanctity of the Christian church. With regard to the formation of constitutionalism, the separation of the goodness monism and the justice monism prompted Christian-oriented communities to establish the structure of diversity guided by unity. In contrast to the various "justification by words" traditions, "justification by faith" grounded in justice monism and its resulting good works are the Christian church's unique mechanism for vitality, and which laid the foundation and prepared the people for the establishment of constitutionalism in Europe and the United States.

3. In "Religion and the Future China — An Interview with He Guanghu," prominent sociologist He Guanghu expounds on how true religious spirit (religiosity) can free people from being pinned down by many idolatrous false beliefs and can give individuals meaning in their lives. He also compares Christianity with traditional Chinese Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism, suggesting that the Chinese people need to courageously reflect on the errors in the beliefs of China's traditional culture and develop a spirit of confession. True religious faith can provide a solid safeguard for morality and the human heart. The absence of faith causes moral depravity and a lack of self-discipline in people, so that although [the number of] laws keeps growing, law-breaking behavior still increases. He also discusses religious tolerance and the problem of globalized ethics.

4. In one chapter of his famous work Democracy in America, French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) profoundly expounded on the indivisibility (as close as lips and teeth) of religion—actually Christianity—and America's civil society and democracy. He also advocates government compliance with Christian morals and describes how materialism can cause even more harm in democratic countries. In closing, led astray by the one-sided liberal notion that was popular in his time of separation of church and the state, he argues that Christianity should be confined to church buildings.

5. In "Religion and Public Life in America," Dr. R. R. Reno, editor of a well-known American journal and a theology professor, points out that freedom of religion is being "redefined" in the United States and is under attack, mainly due to the persistent efforts of the Obama Administration, certain law professors, some institutes of higher education and those so-called social elites who are anti-Christian. These people regard Christianity as the enemy. In closing, he suggests resisting and protesting [these moves] by using the courts, law schools, and the cultural arena, and emphasizes that Christianity will win the final victory even if anti-Christians forces are gaining the upper hand now.

To sum up, the central thesis of the aforementioned five papers is the importance of religion, especially Christianity, and of religious freedom to civilized societies. Despite being severely persecuted, Christianity is having an ever-growing positive influence on the advances in Chinese society. But in Western society, Christianity is being subjected to persistent suppression and ongoing prejudice, which has resulted in an unrelenting assault on Christian liberty. This is a strange phenomenon: the different social, political, and legal systems of the East and West are coincidentally engaged in politically suppressing and persecuting Christianity. This is just as was described in Luke 23:12: when they faced Jesus Christ together, "That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies."

The continued deterioration of public security in Xinjiang and the escalation of religious and ethnic problems there has once again caught the attention of the international community and aroused concern. They are also signs of the central government's embarrassing helplessness in solving this problem. The failure of the Xinjiang policy is mainly the result of the Chinese government's alarming ignorance of religion and its longtime disregard for the importance of constitutionalism in regions like Xinjiang. The fact that Uyghur Christian Alimujiang was framed because of his religious belief and is still serving time in a Xinjiang prison shows the continued blindness and loss of control of the Xinjiang policy; it will therefore continue to slide speedily down the slippery slope of loss of control. With some of the leaders of the Golden Lampstand Church still imprisoned, Shaanxi's provincial government, which has a century-long history of persecuting Christian churches, has also fined and sentenced to prison terms Ren Lacheng, leader of a college student fellowship group, and Christian publisher Li Wenxi, which shows that the anti-Christian forces are still full of vigor in their vileness and pervasiveness.

Nevertheless, all of this is just adding to the [the number of] laughingstocks of history because the church of Jesus Christ will last forever while all governments of this world, especially those that are anti-Christ, are destined collapse. This is an immutable law governing the progress of history.

Editor-in-Chief: Rev. Bob Fu, PhD, founder and president, China Aid Association

Table of Contents

Editor’s Note by Bob Xiqiu Fu ...........................................................................................3

The Legal Dimensions of Religious Freedom in China: The Reality and the Outlook by Li Baiguang ...........................................................................................................................7

Christian Justice Monism: How Grace Fulfills the Law in Finite Politics by Shen Yang ................................................................................................................................51

Religion and the Future China—An interview with He Guanghu by Xiao Han ..........................................................................................................................................89

How Religious Beliefs at Times Turn the Souls of Americans Toward Immaterial Enjoyments by Alexis de Tocqueville ...........................................................................109

Religion and Public Life in America by R.R. Reno........................................................115

1. Photocopy of Alashan Left Banner Religious Affairs Bureau Document (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) .......................................................................................127

2. Photocopy of Notice of Order to Make Corrections (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) ..........................................................................................................................128

3.Photocopy of Criminal Penalty Decision (Shanxi Province) .....................................129



A free e-version of the full text is available and downloadable here:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_YUgSyiG6aIaGZTeVoycDhvc0k/edit?usp=sharing

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"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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