In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What do you think our response will be?

Since yesterday when I read about the extreme sentences that Pastor Wang Xiaoguang and his wife Yang Rongli received for the trumped up charges, I've been thinking about what, if any, America's response will be to this outrage. I've pondered if we should respond, as a country, to religious persecution in other countries.

To my understanding, this is the situation :
  • The trial of Linfen house church leaders in Shanxi province, China, was held from 9:00 AM to about 10:00 PM on November 25 (Beijing time), lasting over 12 hours
  • Linfen Fushan Church is a 50,000-member mega house church network in Linfen and the surrounding villages in northeastern China
  • The trial came after a massive raid by police and hired security guards on Fushan Church on September 13. During the pre-dawn raid, reportedly 400 people in police suits raided and destroyed buildings on the Good News Cloth Shoes Factory property, where the Fushan Church is located. The raid was one of the worst crackdowns against a house church in the past decade, according to CAA (China Aid Association) .
  • During the September 13 raid men tore at the building’s foundation with shovels as bulldozers worked to level other buildings on the site. Church members sleeping at the construction site of the new church building were reportedly attacked with bricks and other objects, according to CAA. Several members were seriously injured and were sent to the emergency room.
  • Following the raid, Yang and other church officials attempted to travel to Beijing to protest the destruction of their church to the central government authorities. However, they were arrested and detained during their trip.
  • The case presented to the court as a result of their arrest was tried on November 25. The court's conduct throughout the trial caused many to question if the government had decided upon the verdict and prepared it in advance. There were only two 20 minute breaks for recess, and only four family members of the convicted prisoners were allowed to be present during the trial. Government prosecutors showed over 1000 pages of so-called "evidence materials" related to this case, but the defense lawyers were only allowed to review about 50 pages before the trial to prepare their defense. The six Christian rights defense lawyers, including renowned Attorneys Li Fangping and Zhang Kai, were said to present a satisfactory defense of the innocence of the five church leaders.
  • Pastor Wang Xiaoguang and Yang Rongli's son was able to briefly chat with his parents during one recess time near the bathroom outside the court room. Sister Yang and Pastor Wang encouraged their son to stand firm in his faith in Christ. Yang and Wang have led the Fushan church for more than 30 years.
  • The verdicts were severe and were announced immediately following the trial. Two criminal charges were used-- the crime of "illegally occupying farming land" and "disturbing transportation order by gathering masses." Sister Yang Rongli received 7 years severe sentence for both charges; Pastor Wang 3 yrs for the first charge, brother Yang Xuan, 3 and a half years, and Cui Jiaxing earned 4 and a half years for the first charge; Sister Zhang Huamei was found guilty of the second charge, and sentenced to 4 years in prison.
  • "To punish an innocent house church leader with 7 years imprisonment is the most serious sentence since 2004 when the senior Henan house church leader pastor Zhang Rongliang received a similar length, " said CAA President Bob Fu. "We strongly condemn these unjust sentences, which are based on trumped-up charges. This case clearly shows the serious deteriorating situation of religious persecution in China. We call upon the Obama administration and international community to speak up unequivocally in its concern about this case."

How do you think the Obama administration will respond to this serious situation of religious persecution in China? Do you think America should respond to these type of situations? Who, in your opinion, should be responding to religious persecution?

8 comments:

Andrea said...

I wonder how our current administration will respond. We do need to take a stand for freedom.
Blessings, andrea

Michelle said...

I'm not sure how the Obama administration will respond or do I know how "we" should respond.

I do, however, believe that this persecution is exactly what Christ said when He said you will be hated for My Name. Not the silly persecutions we Americans think we face. We've never been asked to die or spend years in prison for our belief.

I believe in these moments, as bad as they may seem, we should praise God. These men and women show true signs of being the children of God. They are fulfilling the words of Christ.

I pray they will grow even closer to God through these persecutions...as men such as John Bunyan and Watchmen Nee...

Denise said...

Praying for these precious ones.

photogr said...

I really don't think Obama cares at all and will probably not have a comment.

For some reason, I feel this might be what we will face in time considering the current state of affairs in this country and the direction it seems to be taking with the current leaders in Washington.

Tracy said...

Here are some interesting takes on the current administration's response to Human Rights violations of this nature in China (they were written around the time of Obama's trip to China in mid November):

http://members7.boardhost.com/TrueCatholic/msg/1258332480.html

http://www.persecutionblog.com/2009/11/obama-promotes-religious-freedom-in-china.html

http://www.uhrp.org/articles/3205/1/--In-China-Obama-presses-for-rights-/index.html

Beautiful Mess said...

Sad to say this is the first I have heard about this--now I HAVE heard a lot about Tiger Woods accident--sad what becomes important.

I hope our country does take a stand.

The Redhead Riter said...

I have a surprise for you at

http://theredheadriter.blogspot.com/2009/11/sincerity-is-heartfelt.html

David-FireAndGrace said...

Amazing, many months later, there is no recent articles on the Internet. Sad.

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