Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Mandate

IFCSS Report: Student Dissident Calls for Religious Freedom in China

By Editorial Staff
Published April 24, 2008

International Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars submits report to President Clinton

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNI) – Heping Shi represents the new generation of Chinese dissidents. Shi, 40, is a doctoral student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, and also serves as director of government affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS). IFCSS represents the 40,000 Chinese students studying in the United States and is widely considered to be the most visible and influential Chinese pro-democracy student group in the country.

Shi recently wrote a 10-page report for IFCSS to submit to President Bill Clinton. Although the intent of the report was to bring to light the treatment accorded activists arrested following the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, it also included numerous examples of religious rights violations.

“Although our organization is made up of students,” Shi said, “we are also very much aware of the problem of religious persecution in China. There is not religious freedom in China at all. The church has been a consistent target of persecution.”

One of the five main sections of the IFCSS report was devoted to religious persecution. According to the report, Article 36 of China’s Constitution stipulates that citizens of the People’s Republic of China “enjoy freedom of religious belief.”

IFCSS maintained that this provision has been consistently violated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese government. The report mentioned the existence of two government-sanctioned church bodies – the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (Protestant) and the Catholic Patriotic Association, but stressed that members of churches affiliated with these organizations do not have any freedom.

“Instead of placing their faith with God,” the report said, “they must first be loyal to the Party’s leadership. For those who demanded independence for the church, the CCP has never relented in its persecution.”

The report noted the cases of well-known Christian leaders who have been imprisoned for their faith, including Wang Mingdao.

“It is forty years since Mao and his followers founded the People’s Republic of China,” the report stated, “but no progress has been made in regard to religious freedom. In fact, with the ‘June 4th Massacre,’ the government has carried out another round of massive repression of Christians, Protestants and Catholics alike.”

The report mentioned the infamous Document No. 6, released in February 1991 by the Central Committee of the CCP, urging that all independent religious groups be eliminated. “What followed was a mass persecution of Catholics and Protestants,” according to the IFCSS report, which listed numerous instances of arrest, torture, and death.

IFCSS also believes that the 14th Congress of the CCP, which was held in October 1992, adopted a more hardline policy toward dissent than the previous Congress.

“Despite the Chinese government’s eagerness to restore and expand trade relations with major industrial countries,” the report noted, “the general human rights situation in China has not been improved. In 1992 … over two hundred people were arrested because of their political or religious views. Given the limited access to China’s vast provincial areas, we have all the reason to believe that the real figure is several times greater.”

IFCSS added that instances of persecution mentioned in the report represent “only the tip of the iceberg; the real situation of human rights in China is much worse. Indeed, with the Chinese government withholding facts in regard to arrests and detentions, with the international community denied any access to China’s prisoners of conscience, with the severe punishment in store for any Chinese citizen who ventures to pass on genuine information on human rights violations, efforts to collect individual cases are severely constrained.”

The report also challenged the notion expressed in some political and media circles that the human rights situation in China has improved simply because the government has made attempts to open up economically.

“It is true that the CCP has started talking about human rights,” the report noted. “It is true that the Chinese government has made repeated pledges that people’s constitutionally granted rights would be guaranteed; it is true that many prisoners of conscience have been released and some well-known dissidents allowed to leave the country, and yet we have no reason to believe the CCP has become more respectful of human rights than it was forty years ago …

“While freedom of speech and freedom of religion remain felonies subject to brutal punishment, we find it impossible to believe that the general human rights situation has improved, not to speak of ‘significant improvement.’”

In fact, the IFCSS report maintained, if any change has occurred in recent years, it is a change for the worse: “The CCP has learned to play with the human rights issue. In fact, prisoners of conscience in China now constitute a special kind of political asset that will never be depleted. When the pressure from the international community builds up or when the Chinese government tries to resolve a disagreement with a Western country over issues of trade, loan, or technology transfer, it will release a few prisoners of conscience.

“Meanwhile, it will fill up its storage by arresting some others,” the report continued. “The CCP has effectively turned the human rights issue to its advantage without making any genuine improvement. And we can assume with confidence that it will continue to do so until this approach is effectively challenged.”

Shi became a Christian in 1990 two years after he began his studies in the United States. He studied at Beijing’s Foreign Affairs College, China’s only diplomatic school, and has finished his coursework at Virginia Tech University for his doctorate degree in sociology. He is currently writing his dissertation and working full-time with IFCSS.

Editor’s note: Watch for a regular column by Heping Shi in future issues of The Mandate.


Forerunner - Home » The Mandate Newspaper » The Mandate - Volume 2, Number 1

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

Click here for more information


Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

Click here for more information


Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

Click here for more information


The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

Click here for more information


The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

Click here for more information

Share |


RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner blog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats