Crucifying China's Christians; Obama's Bows to Beijing Put Believers in Danger
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Christianity is growing fast in mainland China; the faithful number as many as hundreds of millions. Christians, however, are a persecuted minority in a country where worship is limited to the state-sanctioned deity Mao Zedong.
Last week, The Washington Times hosted a delegation of Chinese Christian human-rights lawyers who were in Washington to attend the National Prayer Breakfast. They explained that Christianity is spreading in the Middle Kingdom, particularly among the intellectual class. Many educated Chinese who have spent their lives under communist rule are beginning to wonder whether there might be more meaning to life than that found in the materialistic social program of the Communist Party.
This increasing spiritual awareness has brought down an official response. In December, Beijing's Committee on the Management of Social Safety issued a secret order initiating Operation Deterrence, a three-month campaign against the dangerous cult of Christianity. Despite Christian efforts to practice their faith quietly and in peace, the communists will allow no competition for souls. The communist version of separation of church and state is to eliminate the church.
Prominent Christians are followed by secret police 24 hours a day. Some senior members of the delegation heading to the National Prayer Breakfast never arrived; they were intercepted at the airport in China and detained for reasons of national security. In December, a government crackdown on Christian and other reform leaders coincided with the Nobel Peace Prize award for dissident Liu Xiaobo. Over 100 people in China were put under house arrest, and some disappeared - kidnapped and taken to a remote location, then later released.
Beijing wants to limit the exposure of a religion based on charity, self-sacrifice and love of neighbor. Christians were barred from participating in relief efforts after the April 2010 earthquake in northwest China because the government feared they would set too good an example and attract converts. Some lawyers who defend those oppressed by the state lose their licenses and livelihoods. …