Date: March 22, 2013
“They are worried that if they allow Christianity to grow, its influence will surpass that of the Communist Party, win the public’s favor and challenge the governance of the ruling party. They also have worries that it might be used by anti-China parties or countries.”
“These are all their worries. But in reality, Christians love the country and the people. Even if one billion Chinese people became Christians, it would not pose any threat to the current regime.”
Cao Nan, as quoted in The Telegraph (London, UK), February 6, 2013
Mr. Cao Nan, a house church member from Shenzhen city, near Hong Kong, was detained on December 15, 2012. His crime? Singing hymns in the city’s public park. The government charged Cao with “harming social order,” and he was imprisoned for twelve days.
Cao is well known in Shenzhen for founding the Care and Love Center, where thousands of homeless, beggars, and others receive clothing, counseling, and other forms of assistance. As a way to entertain and reach out to those in the park, Cao and his coworkers hold regular hymn sings.
Dear friend, imagine that you were singing Amazing Grace in your city’s park or Silent Night at the mall, and FBI agents came and took you to prison. Yes, in today’s China, rather humorously you could lose your freedom for simply doing good.
Cao is only one of almost 5000 Chinese Christians who were detained or arrested last year. According to our records, persecution against Christians increased nearly 40% in 2012 comparing to that of 2011. Ironically many of those, like Cao, were incarcerated not for being part of an underground church but simply for doing good in public: providing education for poor children, providing medical care to the poor, singing Christmas carols, even assisting with disaster relief.
At China Aid, we cherish these brothers and sisters. They pay a high price for acting out their faith by loving God and loving others. Their family members also pay a heavy price. After brother Cao’s arrest, his wife was under enormous pressure because of constant government threats. Cao’s parents and siblings were all interrogated and harassed. After his release, Cao told me several times how grateful he is to China Aid for providing prayer, advocacy, and legal support to him and his family members during his time of trial.
Besides the spiritual warfare between light and darkness ( John 1:5), I think China’s leaders are increasingly paranoid because they doubt their own legitimacy. Instead of cleaning up massive corruption, they blame innocent citizens like Cao. Last year, for the first time, China’s so-called “stability maintenance” expenses surpassed its national defense budget. Billions of dollars were spent to deal with “unstable elements” like Cao.
Please continue to pray for Cao. On February 5, 2013, Cao filed an administrative lawsuit against the Public Security Bureau of Shenzhen. He did so not merely for his own sake, but for the sake of justice and the freedom to worship in public. This lawsuit was filed with China Aid’s help, and we will continue to stand with Cao as his case moves foward. Together, we can help those who do
good in China.
Write to Gao Zhisheng
Attorney Gao Zhisheng has been imprisoned since April 2010. We are encouraged to report that Gao’s father-in-law and younger brother were able to visit with him in prison for 30 minutes on January 12, the first visit permitted by the government in more than ten months. However, prison authorities forbid discussion of any topic except the health of family members in China; they would not even permit Gao to discuss his own condition or receive news about his wife and children. You can encourage Gao in prison by writing to him at the following address, which you may also copy or print from China Aid’s website:
You may also send your letter to China Aid; in the past two months, we have received more than 200 letters and cards to Gao, and forwarded those to him.
Eighth Annual Persecution Report
China Aid recently released its eighth annual report on persecution in China. As demonstrated in the graph at right, taken from the report, documented cases of persecution in China continue to increase, and the number of individuals involved in those cases has increased dramatically. Please continue to keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in China in your prayers.
You can read the full report or get a copy to share with others on China Aid’s website (www.chinaaid.org) or by mail from our office.
Download ChinaAid March 2013 Newsletter in PDF: