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

Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

$9.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

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