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|ChinaAid Announces the Release of 2008 Persecution Report and Urges International Community to Speak Out|
ChinaAid announces the release of the 2008 Persecution Report, documenting significant increase of persecution of house church Christians in China, during the past year. In a few days, China’s human rights record will be reviewed by the UN. On February 9 the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will host a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland during which China’s review will take place. NGOs from around the world submitted reports of human rights abuses in China for this meeting, including reports on the persecution of house church Christians. Many NGOs have complained that the final summary which will be used during the UPR does not significantly address human rights abuse issues, including the persecution of house church Christians. ChinaAid urges UN member nations and citizens of those nations to appeal for accurate reports to be used during the UPR on China.
The 2008 Persecution Report documents the confirmed reports received by ChinaAid. While it is not comprehensive of all the abuses of human rights and religious freedom in China, it covers the majority of provinces and municipalities in China and involves many types of persecution and indicates a trend towards targeting Christians in urban areas with tougher tactics.
The year of the Beijing Olympic Games marks a year of increased persecution of house church Christians. In 2008, the total number of house church Christians persecuted in the nation increased 157%. In Beijing alone, persecution increased 418%.
It is important to note that persecution of Christians is clearly human rights abuse. The Chinese government does not recognize the human rights of house church Christians because they are not members of the registered church. One Chinese Christian observed the universal implications of their suffering, “If someone thinks that … Chinese Christians are striving only for Christianity and the Chinese nation, he misunderstands, because they firmly believe that what they suffer is the sacrifice for human dignity and freedom.”
Source: ChinaAid Association, PO Box 8513, Midland, Texas 79708/USA