Jay Rogers
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

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

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.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

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