China Surveillance Increasing As 2008 Games Approach
Field workers for Open Doors witnessed a growing persecution against Christians in China as the 2008 Olympics approaches.
Monday, September 10, 2007 China (ANS) — The following report gives some of the latest information that has been gathered in the last few of weeks from Open Doors field staff in China. The bottom line all is not well as the Olympic Games draw nearer. The Beijing Olympics will be held August 2008.
We may not have heard many similar reports in the international news because the Chinese authorities are pursuing a softer approach in order to present an all is well façade to the global community.
Since the last quarter of 2006 and increasingly in 2007 Open Doors contacts have reported that:
Most house church meetings, baptism services and training meetings have had a Public Security Bureau (PSB) presence. The church leaders know who these visitors are but they have decided that they must carry on meeting and refuse to be intimidated.
Many house church pastors in Beijing , the main venue of the Olympics, have already been visited and requested to leave the city before the Games begin.
Training meetings in many provinces have been disrupted and forced to stop by PSB officials. If foreigners have been involved, then, depending on the locality and the attitude of the local officials, they have either been asked to leave the area or, in more serious decisions, expelled from the country and blacklisted.
Foreigners in at least two provinces have been expelled for having remained too long in the cities as students.
Some foreigners have been expelled for having Chinese Christian literature in their homes.
After an open-air international Christmas event in one large southern city last December which was organized by the International Christian Fellowship in that city, all the local Chinese who attended were later visited by PSB officials and had their identity details recorded.
In the capital of a southwestern province, all foreign co-laborers cease activities and lay low the first week of May, July and October because of increased PSB surveillance, raids, arrests and expelling of foreigners. The time of increased surveillance may differ for different provinces.
These crackdowns on Chinese house church believers and others is not unexpected as the communist government of China tries to put its best foot forward to the world in preparing for the Olympics, says Dr. Carl Moeller, President/CEO Open Doors USA.
We need to pray for those who are in the line of fire during the next year. Open Doors will continue to train, encourage and provide Christian literature to our Chinese brothers and sisters. And we also pledge to keep Christians in the West aware of what the Chinese government is doing regarding the persecution of believers we cant keep silent!
The eyes of the world will be on China in the year leading up to the Olympic Games which will be held Aug. 8-24, 2008, in Beijing . To help believers unite in prayer for their Chinese brothers and sisters in the faith, Open Doors USA is sponsoring a special prayer campaign called One Minute/One Year/One Country. Christians are asked to pray for at least one minute each day; if possible at 8 p.m. Beijing time. The current time in Beijing , as well as a countdown clock to the start of the Olympics, is featured on the Open Doors USA Website (www.OpenDoorsUSA.org).