June 10th, 2008 11:47 EST
Crackdown on Chinese Christians: Olympic Lock Down
With exactly two months to go until the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a fresh report detailing the persecution of Christians in China is launched today.
The report, "China: Persecution of Protestant Christians in the Approach to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games", highlights the current government crackdown on China`s unregistered Christians.
Also covered in the report is the disturbing news that Christians have been arrested and fined for seeking to help the victims of the tragic earthquake in Sichuan Province.
As the Olympics draw closer, sources have recently reported that the Ministry of Public Security has received funding from the Chinese Central Government to increase its campaign of eradicating house churches throughout China. Among the tactics used to restrict religious believers is the targeting of multiple well-established churches in Beijing last month, directives to landlords to refrain from renting to those engaging in religious activities and controls to prevent those engaged in "illegal" religious activities from participating in or attending the Games.
Alongside these specific measures, the report highlights the disturbing trend of increasing persecution of China`s unregistered Christians in the run up to the Olympics, including the use of separatism charges against Christians in Xinjiang, a level of expulsion of foreign Christians not seen since the 1950s, the largest mass sentencing of house church leaders in 25 years and targeted repression of the Chinese House Church Alliance.
The report is produced by Christian Solidarity Worldwide in association with China Aid Association (CAA), an organization at the forefront of documenting religious persecution against China`s Christians. CAA President, Bob Fu, is currently visiting Brussels, Belgium, where he will be briefing key diplomats of EU member states, leaders of the European Union Commission and European Parliament including the Vice-President of the EU Parliament Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, on the recent deteriorating situation of religious persecution in China and will urge the EU nations to continue to stand firmly on the issue of human rights.
Mr. Fu will also be in London speaking on Wednesday 11 June at the Foreign Press Association, where he will show footage of firsthand testimony from persecuted Chinese Christians. Joining Bob Fu will be Chun Ki Won, an activist who has been imprisoned in China for helping North Korean refugees, who was involved in the escapes covered in the BBC documentary broadcast last week, Korea: Out of the North. Excerpts of the footage will also be shown. CSW`s National Director Stuart Windsor will also speak, providing a brief overview of China`s domestic and international human rights violations.
Mervyn Thomas, Christian Solidarity Worldwide`s Chief Executive, said: "As we mark the two month countdown to the Beijing Olympics today it is truly disturbing to report the deteriorating picture for China`s unregistered Christians. As China takes her place in the spotlight for the Olympic Games it is important to highlight that she must play by international rules, including her binding international obligations on human rights."
The report is available at http://chinaaid.org/pdf/Pre- Olympic_CHina_Persecution_Report_in_English_Jun e2008.pdf
To view the report in Chinese visit: http://chinaaid.org/pdf/Pre- Olympic_China_Persecution_Report_in_Chinese_Jun e_2008-Chinese.pdf
Issued by CAA June 10, 2008