Prominent Chinese rights activists speak at seminar in San Francisco

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wu Zongsu, son of Wu Yaozhong, who initiated and
founded China's Three-Self Patriotic Movement spoke at the
seminar on Jan. 28, 2014. (Photo: ChinaAid)
China Aid Association

(Spelling of Wu Zongsu's name corrected on Feb. 17)

(San Francisco—Feb. 10, 2014) The 2014 Seminar on Religious Freedom and Rule of Law in China, organized by China Aid Association, Chinese Democracy Education Foundation, Humanitarian China, the informal Bay Area National Affairs Forum, and the historic First Baptist Church of San Francisco was held on Jan. 28 and consisted of speeches from well-known Chinese rights defenders, advocates and missionaries.

The seminar was presided over by Pastor Bob Fu, president and founder of ChinaAid. Fang Zheng, president of Chinese Democracy Education Foundation, and Feng Congde, a famous student leader in the Tiananmen Square student protests, delivered speeches of welcome to open the seminar.

Another important figure speaking at the seminar was Wu Zongsu, son of Wu Yaozhong, the initiator and founder of China’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

“I’m already 84. As the proverb goes: ‘when a man is about to die, his words are good.’ I am a ‘man about to die’ and my words are good. Today, I am going to speak the truth,” Wu Zongsu said. [Editor’s note: The proverb mentioned is a quote from Confucius.]

Wu Zongsu recalled the history of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement in China and the life of his father. He explained how his father had initiated and led the movement. Wu Zhongsu also gave evidence that his father had been tricked, controlled and used by the Chinese Communist government. He said that in the end, his father was abandoned by the government when he was of no more use to them.

Christian human rights lawyer Xia Jun on Jan. 28, 2014.
(Photo: ChinaAid)
Wu Zongsu also provided evidence that supports the widespread belief that the Chinese Communist government hates Christianity and uses it as a tool for their United Front work [“United Front” is a loaded political term that goes back to the Communist Party’s revolutionary beginnings when it used “persuasion” to achieve cooperation with non-Communist groups.]. He also had facts that showed that the Chinese government lies about there being religious freedom in China.

Wu Zongsu also told the audience that the Chinese government is in possession of his father’s diaries, and that they refuse to return the books to the family.

Finally, Wu Zongsu made sure to note that many members of the Chinese Communist Party hold important positions in the China Christian Council and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

Others who spoke at the event included Christian rights defense lawyer Xia Jun. Xia discussed cases he has defended recently, including the detainment of Christians in Nanle County, in China’s central Henan province (, the arrests of Christians in Zizhou, in the inland province of Shaanxi (, and the prosecution of bookstore employees Ren Lacheng and Li Wenxi (

Xia talked about his experiences defending the law and his feelings about being a Christian rights defense lawyer who pursues righteousness. Xia also emphasized that not only house churches, but government-sanctioned, Three-Self Patriotic Movement churches in various parts of China are being seriously persecuted.

Additionally, many missionaries from mainland China talked about the suppression they have experienced and the suppression their churches have suffered. Xiao Guozhen, a rights defense lawyer from China, and many rights defenders who participated in the New Citizens Movement in China and other street struggles talked about their experiences and feelings. Collectively, they called on the Chinese Communist authorities to release immediately Dr. Xu Zhiyong, who was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” on Jan. 26, and other democracy activists who are detained or criminally arrested.

A missionary named Mande spoke about how Chinese Communists are using Christianity to spread United Front work to Taiwan and America. He asked churches worldwide, the Taiwanese government and Americans to become highly vigilant against the religious United Front work and infiltration by the Chinese Communists.

Chinese Democracy Education Foundation
president Fang Zheng at the seminar on Jan.
28, 2014. (Photo: ChinaAid)
Feng Congde, the June 4 Movement student leader who welcomed the audience, talked about the significance of returning to constitutionalism in China and the transformation of China toward democratic constitutionalism.

Fu, in his closing remarks, spoke about the various efforts made by ChinaAid to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. During that time, Fu also released the 2013 Annual Report on Religious Persecution. Fu said that the data showed that the status of religious freedom in China in 2013 was grimmer—churches and Christians suffered more persecution.

Fu called on churches and Christians from all over the world to pray for true freedom of religion and progress of rule of law in China.

“Seminars like that of today will continue to be held in various parts of the world, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. People from churches in China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong, from legal, religious and academic communities of the world and other areas are welcome to join us in an effort to promote the progress of religious freedom and rule of law in China,” Fu said.

Fu ended the event by leading a prayer for China.

The seminar was attended by pastors and missionaries from house churches in mainland China, Chinese Christian rights defense lawyers, San Francisco-area religious scholars, pastors and missionaries, and several human rights defenders and activists from Los Angeles.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985