Okay, this one may not be reasonable. If you are concerned with saving a dollar here or there, you will think that at least. However, if you value human rights, you will see this as being reasonable. One of the countries that I follow is China, and it is for many reasons. Although I do understand they have many problems, and have made some strides, these strides are in many ways a cover story to still do the same old thing, but put a different face on it.
Remember Chinese Policy:
Chairman Mao Zedong declared the Peoples Republic of China in 1949 and quickly sought to purge society of anything religious, causing China’s people to endure great hardship ever since. Mao’s Great Leap Forward in the late ‘50s and the Cultural Revolution in the ‘60s and ‘70s left millions of his countrymen dead or victimized. Today, with its policies of forced abortion and sterilization, China’s human rights record is one of the worst in the world. Authorities reportedly sell the organs of executed prisoners to meet the demand for transplants. Its system of “re-education through labor” detains hundreds of thousands each year in work camps without even a court hearing. China’s “strike-hard” policy, presented as a crackdown on criminals, is hardest on Christians, putting more believers in prison or under detention than in any other country. The confiscation of church property and Bibles continues—even Bibles officially printed by the government. Yet the Church grows: an estimated 3,000 Chinese come to Christ each day. China’s house church movement, which comprises approximately 90 percent of China’s Christians, endures unimaginable persecution.
Just one Case:
On December 22, 2006, Pastor Wang Weiliang and seven other church leaders were sentenced from one year to three and one-half years in prison by the People‘s Court of Xiaoshan District, China. Four are in prison, four received suspended sentences. In prison, the men are forced to make clothing and shoes for export and prohibited from praying openly or reading the Bible. These leaders were arrested after thousands of PSB officers bulldozed their church building on July 29, 2006.
Remember that when you buy Chinese products, they are typically made by prisoners, many of them political prisoners. A good number of these are imprisoned for their faith. Save the $1. It’s the American way.
Some more information:
For 20 years, the only national Christian publication in China has been “Tian Feng” (Heavenly Wind) published by the government-controlled Three Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council. It is issued monthly and dutifully reflects the Communist Party policy on religion while studiously ignoring all reports of persecution. Yet over the past year, Chinese house church Christians have produced three issues of their new magazine, “The Way” (Daolu). Twenty thousand copies of each issue have been distributed free across China to house church leaders. Production and distribution are clandestine in view of the government’s ban on unregistered house church activities and all religious literature that has not been published under Three Self auspices. “The Way” promises to be an authentic voice of the church in China.
More about the “Enlightened New China:
The Chinese government has an ongoing, systematic campaign to expose and destroy unregistered Protestant churches in Hebei Province. The directive—the first one of its kind ever seen by the public–is a work plan order from the Public Security Bureau of Baoding to PSB sub-bureaus in all counties, cities and districts of Hebei Province. It instructs the bureaus to terminate “illegal Protestant activities.” The document describes the work plan as an effort to “embrace and create a sound and secure social environment in a concerted citywide action of the Communist Party Committee and the government in advance of the Communist Party’s 16th National Party Congress which was held last November. The plan was to crack down against illegal Protestant activities from August 20th to October 20th, 2002. The directive—dated August 20th, 2002—details the effort to “establish a secret force” to infiltrate unregistered church groups to gather in-depth intelligence against illegal Protestant church activities. Bureaus were directed to “set up full files; recognize influential people and illegal meeting places.” They received further instructions to clearly identify legal and illegal church activities in order to take action against those “which are organized by freelance missionaries, which are overseas infiltration; and prepare to terminate them.” One section of the work plan details the establishment of a government task force created to send supervisors to Public Security Bureaus in all counties, cities and districts to assure the implementation of compulsory measures against the Christians such as “subpoena penalty, ordered confessions” and “detention.” Bureaus are instructed to confiscate “illegal publicizing” materials used for evangelism and are told that “stubborn members,” believers refusing to “voluntarily obey regulations of the government” should be “severely punished.”
This directive is a smoking gun.
I urge all of you to contact your legislator and the USOC and IOC to protest US and other Western Democracies participation in the sham of the Olympics – which should symbolize the best of mankind – being celebrated in the viper pit of Beijing. I would urge you to contact your legislator to insist that US policy consider China’s horrific record of human rights abuse, not just towards Christians but to all people of faith, and any who would protest against the totalitiarian regime of Beijing.
Or, you can save a few bucks and buy products very probably made by those who are persecuted for the liberties that we in Western civilization see as what makes us human. If you do so, as St. Peter said, “You and your money can both go to hell. ”
As many of you know this blog has a mixe political ideology, takes issue with some of the uber-religious right in America, and can be a bit to the right or left on many views. However, I would hope that all of us value the basic premise that makes life as a human worht living, a degree of liberty. This is an issue that trancends political affiliation, religious beliefs, and even reason. This issue touches at the soul of mankind and it’s called ethics.