Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Religous Freedom in China

Image result for li baiguang

Through the years I've written about religious persecution in China, particularly of the thirty to sixty million Christians in the country although other spiritual and religious groups suffer as well.  Despite loosening the draconian laws and regulations under the Maoist regime those who practice any form of religion are never sure when the state will crack down. Churches are built, some of them huge, only to be demolished by the government on trumped up charges of sedition. Pastors are jailed, some for long periods of time, and some die.

This past week a human rights lawyer named Li Baguang who has defended Christian pastors was taken to hospital for a stomach ache and never left. He died under mysterious circumstances which haven't been explained by the hospital administration. While supporters in China and abroad have called for a thorough investigation it is unlikely to occur.

As we have become increasingly dependent on China for our consumer goods as well as exports to this burgeoning market we seem less and less willing to challenge the nation's dismal human rights record. And recently the leadership has moved toward reducing democratic freedoms and allowing those in the hierarchy of government to assume indefinite terms. The supposedly powerful United States has a president who seems enamoured of strong-arm leaders and it's doubtful we'll see much in the way of human rights leadership from the White House.

We can pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ whose desire is to live the gospel peacefully and openly. We can pray for the safety of those who shine a light on injustice. We can ask our elected leaders to address human rights even when it isn't convenient.


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