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Persecution report precedes Hu visit

Chinese church service (Courtesty: Open Doors USA

Just days before the summit between President Bush and Chinese President Hu, a report of torture and abuse against Christians in China has been released by human rights groups.

The report includes photographic evidence and video interviews of 19 believers from five different provinces and highlights some of the most egregious cases of brutality and state-sponsored torture of evangelical Christians last year, says the China Aid Association, which worked together with the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, Jubilee Campaign USA and Midland Ministerial Alliance.

The Chinese president arrived in Seattle yesterday for meetings with Microsoft and Boeing and plans a summit with Bush Thursday in the nation’s capital.

China Aid asserts that despite the condemnation of torture nationally and internationally, its implementation remains widespread in China today.

There’s a sharp contrast, the group says, between the People’s Republic of China’s written laws and the actions of authorities.

In the report, 23 year-old Zhao Yan recalls how she was treated by her interrogator, Qiu Yunfei, after she was arrested for having a Bible study with two American seminary students at Zaoyang city, Hubei province Aug. 2.

After a few words, he slapped me in the face and kicked me to the ground. He ordered me to kneel on the ground and cuffed my two thumbs. He then let me raise my arms and keep them level. He again slapped me across the ears.

He also hit me with a leather belt on my mouth. He took the drinking glass on the table and smashed it on my arm. … He then kicked my cuffed hands. I rolled around on the floor; the cuffs were eating into my flesh. When the cuff on my right thumb became loose he put it on my two forefingers. Again he wanted me to hold up my hands.

Whenever I lower my arms he burned me with a cigarette butt. The head of the Security Bureau, Zhang Xujin, also entered the room. He scolded me and severely kicked my left leg. He also severely kicked my two hands around on the muddy floor. Afterwards he wanted me to raise my hands up. He grabbed the cuffs and dragged me forward and up.

My fingers simply wanted to break. I was continually tortured like this.

China Aid said Zhao later was pressured into signing false documents before she was released.

Bob Fu, the report’s primary author, said the report is by no means exhaustive, dealing only with the tip of the iceberg. It’s meant he said, to “provide clear and concise details of what occurs on a regular basis within the PRC’s borders.”

The report concludes that the Chinese government demonstrates no regard for national nor international laws its attempt to purge independent, or unregistered, Christian faith from China.

All Protestant and Catholic churches in China are required to be under control of the communist government, and groups that do not register – the vast majority – are labeled “illegal cults.”

The report urges the international community to hold accountable officials involved in torture and abusee.

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