We the undersigned, churches and individual Christians from all over the world, stand in solidarity with our fellow believers from Shouwang Church in Beijing and call on the Chinese government to end the religious persecution of this church and its members and to uphold the right to freedom of religion guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.
During the past few weeks, the Christians of Shouwang Church have been deprived of a place of worship, whether indoors or outdoor. Many church members have been detained, interrogated and even physically abused; church leaders were placed under extra-judicial house arrest for weeks. Authorities even prevented the congregation from holding its service on Easter Sunday, the most important holiday of the Christian calendar. All these governmental actions are direct violations of the human rights clauses of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and also violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the Chinese government itself is a signatory.
Our appeal expresses the views of and is endorsed by churches and individual Christians from around the world. It is entirely without any political agenda and free from any government involvement. It is simply a voice of conscience, a call to respect human dignity and to recognize the inalienable rights accorded to every human being, particularly, in this case, to the leaders and members of Shouwang Church in Beijing.
We acknowledge that China has made remarkable economic progress in the past three decades. The Chinese government deserves recognition for its policies which have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of poverty-stricken Chinese and raised the literacy level through compulsory education. In the area of social justice and human rights, however, China has failed to make commensurate progress. Economic growth without reforms in social justice and human rights could result in great harm for the Chinese people, and could have catastrophic consequences for Chinese society if left unaddressed. We as churches and individual Christians therefore appeal to the Chinese government to end its repressive political actions against Shouwang Church and it members. In so doing, it will demonstrate its respect for human rights and human dignity, social justice, and the Chinese constitution.
Christian churches around the world are all One in the Body of Christ. As members of this Body, we stand in solidarity with, pray for and suffer with Shouwang Church. May the Lord’s blessing be on Shouwang Church and may He sustain her in this time of testing, grant her grace, wisdom and perseverance, and establish her like “a city on a hill” as described in the Bible to manifest the glory of our Lord. May God Bless You!