November 15th, 2009 12:47 EST
Chinese Human Rights Violations on An Upswing Prior to Obama's Visit
Beaten, banned, and berated, house church Christians have endured increased religious persecution over the last two months in China. The Chinese government has stepped up its central government-led campaign repressing all religious activities, targeting registered and unregistered churches alike.
Read the most recent stories of persecution:
Linfen Fushan Church Leaders Rushed to Trial without Notice.
2,000 Wanbang Church Members Hunted, Interrogated and Threatened after Stand-off with Shanghai PSB.
Beijing Continues Relentless Crackdown on Shouwang Church.
Wuhan Religious Spies Infiltrate Enguang Church and Officials Takeover with Three-Self Leaders.
Shanghai Wanbang Church Banned by State Agencies.
Prominent Chinese Legal Researcher Abruptly Dismissed for "Political Reasons."
Shouwang Church Members Forced to Sing in the Snow.
ChinaAid President Bob Fu expressed deep concern over the lack of accountability of Western powers to uphold human rights: "The Obama Administration`s total silence on this issue has been seen as a green light and certainly emboldens the Chinese government`s resolve to carry out this sweep, without worrying about international consequence.
"From the violence against the 50,000 members Linfen Fushan Church in Shanxi on Sept. 13 (with five church leaders facing trial among 9 still arrested), to the repression of Shouwang and Wanbang Churches on Nov. 1-2, as well as the forced dismissal of prominent moderate legal scholar and church leader Dr. Fan Yafeng; and from beating up human rights lawyers Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu in May in Chongqing to disbarring at least 18 human rights lawyers so far, neither the White House nor the U.S. Department of State has issued any public statement to show its concern on the deteriorating situation."
As President Obama travels to China on Sunday, November 15, a great opportunity arises for the United States to reclaim a strong stance on human rights, and specifically reassert the vital importance of religious freedom. Each time a key Western leader remains silent on these issues, the Chinese government is empowered to suppress even more freedoms. The cycle must be broken.
ChinaAid calls on the international community and President Barack Obama to bring these cases to light, and to take a strong stance in favor of religious freedom for all.
For more information on cases of religious persecution in China, go to www.ChinaAid.org, or contact Annee Kahler at Annee@ChinaAid.org.