ChinaAid challenges ‘misleading’ report
“Believers around the world were misinformed by WEA not mentioning the reality of brutal persecution of house church Christians still pervasive throughout China .”
By Erin Roach
01/04/2010 China (BP)-The human rights organization ChinaAid is challenging a “misleading assessment about the true situation of the church in China ” released by the World Evangelical Alliance, a report that praised the Chinese government and state-sanctioned churches for their cooperation in spreading Christianity in the communist nation.
ChinaAid said they felt compelled to respond after Chinese house church leaders and other Christians in the West expressed concern over the glowing report issued by WEA.
In November, leaders of the World Evangelical Alliance met with leaders of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement church and other state-run national church organizations in Beijing , Nanjing and other provinces. WEA, a global network of 420 million evangelicals in 128 countries, conveyed in two subsequent news releases the Chinese organizations’ assessment of the “vibrancy and health” of the state-led church movement in China.
“In this overtly positive assessment, there was no acknowledgement of the existence and current deteriorating condition of the more than 80 million believers in China who have chosen, often with dangerous and uncertain consequences, to worship outside the state-sanctioned religious system,” ChinaAid said of the two-part WEA report.
“WEA’s issued statement on this visit to China would lead the international community to believe that the Christian church is alive and well — free to worship under the atheist communist system. This oversimplifies a far more complicated situation for Christians living under communist-rule in China ,” ChinaAid said Dec. 18.
The failure by WEA to mention the millions of persecuted Christians in China “compromised the cause of the suffering church” and left “faithful house church prisoners who number in the thousands” grieved by WEA’s statement, ChinaAid said.
ChinaAid noted that WEA is free to choose to work with the Chinese government-sanctioned organizations and government agencies, and they acknowledged that “there are true brothers and sisters leading faithful lives who attend state churches.”
“We are simply calling into question the very misleading signal and discouraging sign sent by what the WEA statement chose not to say in their statement,” ChinaAid said. “Believers around the world were misinformed by WEA not mentioning the reality of brutal persecution of house church Christians still pervasive throughout China .”