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Christians in China not united in wanting the US to use its influence to lessen their persecution.

Christian Post (05/11/06) – Average Christians in mainland China expressed mixed reaction Wednesday to Bush’s planned meeting with Chinese leaders representing the “underground” church, in several internet discussion boards and blogs.

The meeting of three Christian rights-activists – Yu Jie, Li Baiguang, and Wang Yi – with the U.S. president at the White House on Thursday has received both welcome and cold responses from several domestic-Chinese forums and blogs.

“We have God’s care, and we don’t need politicians to interfere with church matters,” said a discussion forum webmaster who demanded that Yu Jie not see Bush.

Christians in China are split between the government-sanctioned churches and “underground” house churches, which refuse to register with the government. The government’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Movement (TSPM) churches claim a membership of 10 million amongst China’s purported 40-70 million Christians.

Those whom worship outside the sphere of government-approved churches are allegedly subjected to harassment, arrests, heavy fines, beatings and imprisonment.

“God allowing us to be persecuted is God’s training,” a board member responded, adding that to stop persecution is to interfere with “God’s plans.”

A fellow participant retorted, “Do you also want your children and grandchildren to have no knowledge of God, or be persecuted to death?”

Under current religious regulations, congregations of government-monitored protestant churches are not allowed to propagate to children below the age of 12.

Sites that have hosted dialogue concerning the upcoming White House visit reportedly experienced unexplained technical difficulties since discussions began sometime after Tuesday evening.

The Chinese government has often in the past been accused by various rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, of blocking internet-traffic to political and religious websites.

Information on several websites that raised topics about Bush’s planned meeting were inaccessible Wednesday afternoon, though it could not be determined whether government-censors were involved…[Go To Full Story]