Sign Petition for Shouwang (July 1st, 2011)
On the night of June 28 in the United States (in Beijing, it was the afternoon of June 29), I, on behalf of lay leaders and pastors outside China who support Shouwang Church, placed a call to the Beijing office of World Vision. The receptionist connected me to Sister Xia Xiaoqiu. I immediately conveyed to Xia Xiaoqiu the concern and greetings of us overseas pastors and Christians, and [said that] we know she has attended many outdoor worship services and was picked up [by police] and placed under 24-hour surveillance. Meanwhile, she confirmed the veracity of the news posted on Google Buzz and forwarded by many people that the Beijing branch of World Vision was pressuring her to quit her job. She faced this attack coming from within the body of Christ calmly and with composure, admirably standing for righteousness without fear.
During the many talks forced on her, her supervisor unabashedly said: “We can’t let the problems of your personal faith affect our work and our organization’s development in China.” I myself am a U.S. citizen and I used to work in a law office, so I was really surprised that someone in a leadership position at World Vision would use such language as “the problems of your personal faith” to intimidate his employee. I again sought repeatedly to verify this detail, and each time got a clear confirmation. The office of this organization had on many occasions used such language, never disguising its intention to force her to quit her job there. When Sister Xia Xiaoqiu asked World Vision if they would protect her right to work both on the basis of their relationship as members of the body of Christ and on the basis of national law, she was flatly rejected: “We don’t have such a responsibility or obligation!”
On June 26, Xia Xiaoqiu wrote on Google Buzz, “With regard to the job, I’ve already had several rounds of talks with my boss. Each side has already made clear what can be made clear. My boss said that my activities cannot be allowed to impact the organization’s development [in China], and those in the managerial level are all in agreement about this. The only thing left now is to await their decision. I’m thinking that no matter what, I must do my part to the utmost, so even if I do have to leave, I’ll make sure there’s a smooth transition to my successor.”
This incident aroused a strong reaction among shocked Shouwang Church members. On June 28, Xia Xiaoqiu wrote again on Google Buzz: “I haven’t checked BUZZ all day. Just logged on and immediately saw this lively discussion about this incident. That really took me by surprise. First, a special thanks to everyone for their concern and love and protection, thinking on my behalf and coming up with practical ways to respond. On the other hand, the organization’s managers have not yet made a final decision, so this affair is not yet concluded. So everyone please just hold back for a bit and take no action. For now, let prayer be the focus. Everything else should wait until there’s a conclusion!”
During our phone call, I clearly expressed to Xia Xiaoqiu our criticism of this sort of action and [said] that we would write to the U.S. headquarters of World Vision to express our protest and criticism. We are willing to have a last conversation in Christ with World Vision because we value this relationship in Christ. But if they persist in their views, we will seek further support and help from Christian circles.
This affair has already been posted on public forums for a number of days, and many media outlets already know about it. Several hours after I talked with Sister Xia Xiaoqiu, I was woken from my dreams by a call from an East Coast outlet to ask about this matter. She also expressed her personal greetings and concern as a Christian as well as that of her organization.
Below are some of the posts from Shouwang Church members on Google Buzz discussing how to formally complain to the headquarters of World Vision about this matter.
XX – Jun 27, 2011 – Buzz – Public
@@xiaoqiu xia. If you think it is necessary, we have a lot of ways to let World Vision realize how serious what they have done is in the Chinese context. Actually, you need not feel burdened, this definitely is not revenge. Rather, it is to let the people at World Vision headquarters know what World Vision is actually doing in China. The end result may be the same, but it is our right to act, and by not acting, we are pro-actively giving up this right.
Also, I think by doing this, it will also serve as a reminder to other organizations in the body of Christ so that they will understand that to compromise for the sake of ministry work will only result in them sliding down into darkness.
In any case, I will respect your decision.
XX- firstname.lastname@example.org (Senior Policy Advisor)
I found the contact info for the above listed people. I believe the e-mail for Richard Stearns should probably be email@example.com
Jun 27, 2011
XX – WV should have a special e-mail address and process for submitting a complaint to its international director-general.
Jun 28, 2011 (edited Jun 28, 2011)
xxx – I’ve already sent a letter to WV’s US CEO as a test. Let’s see if that e-mail address is the right one.
Jun 28, 2011
XXXX – Would you like to attach an English document that explains the Shouwang situation? I have one that you can use.
Jun 28, 2011
XX – Oh, oh, if you have one, that’s great! Can you send it to me? Many thanks!
Jun 28, 2011