On May 21, respected member of the Chinese underground church, former prisoner of faith, and founder of VOMK partner ChinaAid, Reverend Bob Fu will be joining Voice of the Martyrs at their office in Mapo to speak about the current state of the Chinese church.
“Christians are facing what many call a renewed wave of persecution. Pastors are arrested, crosses are pulled down, churches are demolished, Christian human rights lawyers are believed to have been kidnapped, intimidated and tortured,” Board chair Hyun Sook Foley explains. “Human rights attorney, Li Baiguang, an outspoken campaigner for religious freedom, is an example of this. Earlier this year, he was kidnapped and died in suspicious circumstances.”
Rev. Fu says that the persecution of Christians has increased dramatically under President Xi Jinping and is expected to become worse now that Xi has essentially been declared president for life.
“Since February, even organizing a prayer meeting in your home is totally forbidden,” says Pastor Fu. “If you disobey, your home will be subject to destruction and confiscation. According to the new religious regulations, you cannot share religious messages with anyone under 18. And students, young people, and Communist party members have been forbidden from entering churches.”
According to Board chair Foley, even registered churches in China are forced to install facial recognition cameras and provide office space for Communist party members to monitor the church.
“Already we are seeing Christians labeled as belonging to ‘evil cults’, simply because they have been found reading books like Pilgrim’s Progress,” Board chair Foley adds.
According to Rev. Fu, a leaked Communist party document reveals the new restrictions that the church is facing are to “contain the overheated growth of Christianity.” Rev. Fu claims that the Chinese government promotes “the construction of Christianity with Chinese Characteristics.”
This is why Rev. Fu and Voice of the Martyrs Korea have been working together to broadcast discipleship materials into China via satellite radio. This broadcast can be accessed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and includes scripture, lessons from Rev. Fu, lessons from the persecuted church around the world, and various other discipleship materials.
“Broadcasts like this are important to the Chinese church because the news in China is strongly censored by the government,” Board chair Foley explains. “Although the rest of the world hears about persecution happening in China, churches inside China typically do not hear about it. Churches in one city are often unaware of the persecution that the church in a neighboring city is facing.”
On Monday, May 21 at 7:30 PM in the VOMK office in Mapo, Pastor Fu will share his experiences with the Chinese church and recommend ways that Korean Christians can best respond to the significant increase in restriction and persecution against Christians on the part of the Chinese government. Pre-registration is required to attend this event. Copies of Pastor Fu’s biography will also be available for a suggested donation. To pre-register for this event, you can contact the Voice of the Martyrs office at 02-2065-0703.
The Rev. Bob Fu Biography
The Rev. Bob (Xiqiu) Fu is one of the leading voices in the world for persecuted faith communities in China. Fu was born and raised in mainland China and was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square demonstrating for freedom and democracy in 1989.
Fu graduated from the School of International Relations at the People's (Renmin) University in Beijing and taught English to Communist Party officials at the Beijing Administrative College and Beijing Party School of the Chinese Communist Party from 1993-1996. Fu was also a house church leader in Beijing until he and his wife, Heidi, were imprisoned for two months for "illegal evangelism" in 1996. Bob and Heidi fled to the United States as religious refugees in 1997, and subsequently founded ChinaAid in 2002 to bring international attention to China's gross human rights violations and to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.
As president of ChinaAid, Fu has testified before the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), the Foreign Press Association, and the European Commission and European Union Parliament.
Bob Fu is currently a Ph. D. candidate at Durham University, U.K., graduated from the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree on Global Christian Leadership from Midwest University, where he has served as a distinguished professor on religion and public policy.