G?ngx? F?cái

Such a Merry Christmas from China. Well, actually shèngdàn kuàilè x?nnián kuàilè is Merry Christmas in Mandarin (G?ngx? F?cái is a Chinese New Years greeting), but it wouldn’t fit in the post’s headline.

It seems the Evil Old Men in Beijing, knowing the importance of the Christmas holidays among the oppressed Christian minority in China, have perverted the holiday for their own vile purposes. They have showed great – if low born – cunning in realizing that the “illegal” congregations in China would be gathering at this time.

270 House Church Pastors Detained for Alleged “Illegal Religious Gathering

SHANDONG PROVINCE, Dec. 10 — China Aid Association has learned that 270 House Church Pastors have been detained for what Chinese officials are calling an “illegal religious gathering.”

On December 7 at 1:30pm, House Church pastors in Hedeng District, Linyi City, were gathered for a Bible Study when their meeting was disrupted by police officials.According to Pastor Li, an eyewitness, 40-50 policemen from 12 different towns were involved in the massive detention. The pastors were then handcuffed two-by-two and taken to the local police station for questioning. As of this morning 150 pastors remain in custody. The others have been released on a Y300 ($40) interrogation fee.

The humiliation these pastors received by being led away in handcuffs as common criminals, for attending a Bible study is an unjustifiable act of religious persecution. In addition, the large scale and high profile of the detentions shows the apathy of Chinese officials in moving towards a policy for toleration of religious freedom. Behavior unbecoming of the World’s host for the Olympic games in 2008.

China Aid will continue to monitor the situation.

For those concerned, contact:

Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador: Mr. Zhou Wenzhong
Address: 2300 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
Tel: +001-202-328-2500, 328-2501, 328-2502
Fax: +001-202-3282582
Email: chinaembassy_us@fmprc.gov.cn

— Issued by China Aid Association
December 10, 2007

I know the civilized world can’t honestly expect any better behavior from PRC tyrants in Beijing, but it’s still somehow shocking how far they will go to oppress any group who doesn’t spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week kowtowing to atheism and slaving in a sweatshop somewhere.

We really shouldn’t even be shocked by the “interrogation fee”; after all once they execute these pastors, the PRC will bill their families for the cost of the bullet.

Related Reading:

China's Futures: PRC Elites Debate Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy
Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television (Routledge Critical Studies in Sport) by Andrew Billings (2008-01-23)
Living Religions (10th Edition) - Standalone book
Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

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21 Responses to “G?ngx? F?cái”

  1. Jamelle Says:

    This is why conservative American evangelical screeching about “oppression” pisses me off so much. There are Christians who are facing actual oppression; Chinese Christians have the weight of a powerful state against them. If conservative evangelicals were actually concerned about oppression, they would be trying to help their co-religionists abroad, and not find horribly trivial examples of “anti-Christianism.”

  2. jonolan Says:

    Jamelle,

    You make a very good point. If the conservative evangelicals spent more effort on issues like China and less on their perceived loss of clout in the US, they’d get better results. On the other hand, many do try to stop the oppression in China, but seem to get very little traction.

    The media doesn’t seem to find actual oppression of Christians particularly newsworthy. The media seems to prefer to cover the bigoted, loudmouthed evangelicals who are crying at the top of the lungs about “horribly trivial examples of anti-Christianism.”

    BTW – Merry Christmas

  3. Pat Says:

    Actions speak louder than words! When a substantial amount of the goods entering this country (the U.S.) are made in the PRC we ourselves are “supporting” this kind of behavior. I understand that one way to slowly and carefully put a stop to this sort of thing is to entwine them with us to the point of actual dependence thus insuring they “play the game” properly by our standards but there are a whole lot more Chinese than there are of us so this (if in fact it is the plan) is on thin ice already. What I’m saying here is that it will be virtually impossible to spend enough money to buy our way into their system so that this kind of thing will stop at our request.

    I’m no supporter of religion in general in any form, but I ask myself if the arrest of people practicing a religion seems a bit counterproductive on their part (the Chinese Gov’ts part) unless these meetings are being held for other purposes as well. Obviously the Chinese gov’t feels threatened for some reason, it would be interesting to know the whole truth as to why.

    Suffice to say that we here in the U.S. could be considered “accessories” to the “crime” given our penchance for Chinese goods while we ignore the human rights record of the official Chinese Gov’t. This may be a short sighted view, but I am sure glad I am NOT one of the prisoners in China whose organs are being harvested against my wishes and I am glad that I am NOT one of the inhabitants of Southern Sudan being slaughtered in the interest of getting oil out of the ground by Chinese companies (something I have witnessed in my work in the humanitarian aid field.)

    I’m not sure what to think in terms of plotting a future course (if I had any say so in the matter) in our relations with China, but when I find that some very powerful members of our gov’t have invested heavily in China and thus are concerned about those investments above all else (seemingly) I have to wonder what is the true goal of our foreign policy toward China. (Example: Senator Diane Feinstien’s husband is invested to the tune of billions in China.)

    I admit I have no right to throw stones as I sit here “blogging” on a computer made in China!

  4. Rhea Says:

    Rrr. What an angering topic. Thanks for posting the article and attached contact information. Religious persecution by the State is one of the worst abuses of power, and I think westerners tend to forget about the rampant corruption and persecution in China. In America, we are lucky enough that our arguments regarding religious “persecution” consist largely of things like whether it’s legal to post the 10 Commandments in government buildings. I’m hard on our country, but I don’t acknowledge often enough how fortunate we are in our freedoms.

    I agree with Pat that actions speak louder than words. Westerners should be talking about the consequences of flooding money into China’s economy. However, it’s a complex issue, as westerners can encourage factory and labor reform through buying from ethical companies. The Chinese government is disgusting, vile, and corrupt, but its people are not. It takes a little research to know what we shouldn’t buy or support, but everyone could benefit from knowing a little more about the world they live in and the products they use. The internet is a great source.

    We had a priest for a while from North Vietnam. Coolest guy I ever met. He remembers his family being hounded with government scare tactics. When he was younger, his parents sold everything and used their savings to put him on a little boat of refugees escaping the country. His parents couldn’t afford to go. With no map and a lot of luck, the boat drifted to Thailand. He mails censored letters to his parents, but he never knows if they arrive. He can’t tell them he’s a priest. Sobering stuff.

  5. jonolan Says:

    Rhea,

    You’re welcome I guess. It’s never enjoyable to post or read such things. Still, since the Mainstream Media knows what side their bread is buttered on, they won’t report it – so I will instead.đŸ˜‰

  6. Christy Says:

    Jonolan…just now catching up after a crazy week (thanks for the wishes, by the way =) and am sobered…though not surprised. I regularly get publications reporting on such abuses throughout the world…you won’t hear it in the mainstream media…so thank you for being another voice.

    I remember being a young girl…and someone wise and someone whom I respected saying he prayed for America to experience the religious persecution other countries face. I thought he was nuts. But the more I reflected, and the more I interrogated him (even at my tender age) I understood what he meant. When you’re a Christian in China, you’re risking your life. There’s no question about whether or not you “believe.” Whereas here in America, you can say whatever you want because relatively nothing is at stake…and so you see a lot of hypocrisy and cultural Christians. This man’s desire was for people to know Jesus, apart from cultural Christianity and his point was that those who are persecuted and daily face losing their lives are the ones who are truly tested…who are true believers.

    That stuck with me my entire life…the question of what would possess someone to follow Christ when their very lives and their family members’ lives are at stake? Furthermore, what beliefs am I willing to die for? What beliefs are any of us willing to lose our lives over?

    Those men have guts and courage I have no idea of…but pray I’d have if I one day faced the same situation. I admire them to no end and deeply respect them.

    Thanks for the post. Thought-provoking as always. Thanks also for the contact information.

    Warm wishes as we approach the New Year! =)

  7. jonolan Says:

    You’re welcome, Christy. I’m sorry to hear your holidays were a bit crazy. I do hope they went well though; the first few spent without family can be a bit tough.

    Yes, there is a well founded school of thought that says that oppression is actually beneficial to believers. I’m unsure though – at least when it reaches the levels in China.

  8. eeyore Says:

    Jesus said “I came not to make peace,but to make war”
    We are at war just because we exist-the world will not let us exist peacefully….

  9. jonolan Says:

    Welcome, eeyore! I’m a huge Winnie the Pooh fan myself. You make an interesting point. Throughout the course of history Christianity has been one of the religions most prone to persecution.

    I may have to post my thoughts on this at some point. To give fair warning though, I’m Pagan and may have a different slant on things than you’re comfortable with.

  10. Christy Says:

    Thanks, Jonolan! Your kindness was greatly appreciated.

    Yes, there is a well founded school of thought that says that oppression is actually beneficial to believers. I’m unsure though – at least when it reaches the levels in China.

    I’d agree with you – if we’re talking physical well-being that is tangible and measurable to us; however, if we’re talking eternal/spiritual well-being…then perhaps there is an argument to be had that IF the faith was true, then persecution, begetting more believers in that faith, would on an eternal level be better than if persecution/oppression had never occurred, for more would be saved eternally.

    Hope you’re doing well!

  11. eeyore Says:

    I’m not “comfortable” with anything…..

    God is my refuge.If I conjure up my own defense,He is not with me.

  12. jonolan Says:

    Wonderful, eeyore! It’s always gratifying to meet people of faith. i was just giving fair warning that my viewpoint might be different than what you might have been expecting.

  13. eeyore Says:

    My perception is that you are a gentleman of understanding,enlightenment and forbearance. Nice to make your acquaintance….
    I followed you back from whitekays insanity where you made some very intelligent posts.Unfortunately whitekay does not have much tolerance for intelligence as you will see if you continue to post there.
    But….she is my neighbor so I continue to converse,hoping to break through the massive defenses she has erected….

  14. jonolan Says:

    Nice to make your acquaintance as well, eeyore. Thank you for both stopping by here and the compliments on my behavior – though I fear I can and do “flame” with the worst of them when the fit strikes me.

    Whitekay is OK, just a bit singleminded in her hatred of Bush and Co. I stop by her blog on occasion to chide the “anything but…” crowd. What’s scary to me is the rabid Right posters who rant there. Between Kay’s crowd and those “reichwingers” – her word – the blog threads can devolved rapidly into self-serving rants and flames.

  15. Christy Says:

    My perception is that you are a gentleman of understanding,enlightenment and forbearance.

    I second that!

  16. eeyore Says:

    What’s scary is the level of people’s hatred these days.Right,left whatever,they are finding out what happens when you put your faith in a system of government,or a political party,or a particular government figurehead.All will fail them sooner,rather than later,and they are left with a pot of boiling anger.
    Which shows itself like this;YOU’RE an idiot:YOU’RE a “reichwinger” ;YOU’RE a liberal : YOU’RE a whathaveyougot. It’s a deep pit and it’s full of dead men’s bones.

  17. jonolan Says:

    True, eeyore – those who feel betrayed are vicious in their anger. I don’t think though that this idea matches many of the people on Kay’s blog. They weren’t betrayed since they didn’t place any faith in the current government in the first place. They strike me as the types who cannot accept their powerlessness; they lost the elections and the issues, so now they’re feeling powerless and bitter.

    That is most definitely a deep pit full of dead men’s bones.

  18. eeyore Says:

    You are correct,grasshopper. However,when the present administration is replaced with another set of miserable failures,the hate cycle will continue…

    My point is,to put one’s faith in man is futile.
    Faith in God relieves powerless-ness (!)

    Hatred consumes the hater,rather than the hated.

  19. jonolan Says:

    From what I’ve seen over at White Noise Insanity, their political hopes are centered on candidates who will, in all probability, not be elected. So their feelings of powerlessness, despair and hate will continue. It’s really quite sad.

    Faith in the gods – or God – only relieves feelings of despair and powerlessness in those who have in their hearts already left this world behind. For those who are still rooted in mortal plane, such faith often leads to greater despair. People do not comprehend what actions the divine take and so see no action at all.

    I wonder if that is the goal of the Chinese repression of the “house churches.” Sowing such despair among those worshiping outside of State mandates might be an effective method of curtailing such free religions.

  20. eeyore Says:

    man’s futile attempt to squelch God…..an old,old story

  21. Christy Says:

    Thanks, Jonolan!!! Happy New Year! =)

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