From J. Lee Grady’s Fire in my Bones column:
The Summer Olympic Games will focus a needed spotlight on the Chinese government’s abusive treatment of believers.
week the world will see everything that’s good about China: Its sleek
buildings, its new wealth and its talented artists and athletes. What
won’t be on display during broadcasts of the Olympic Games in Beijing
are any signs of religion—or of China’s brutal record of persecution
aimed at Christians and other people of faith.
Some diplomatically minded evangelicals think this is not the time
to rock the boat about China’s shameful record of religious repression.
Franklin Graham told reporters in China earlier this year that
believers should refrain from talking about their faith throughout the
athletic contest. He thinks that we can best help China’s church by
muting any evangelism efforts aimed at reaching athletes or the Chinese
But Bob Fu, who once led an underground house church in China and
now leads the China Aid Association from an office in Philadelphia, has
called Graham’s suggestion “offensive and inappropriate.” He told Charisma
recently: “When an unjust law demands [Chinese Christians] to go
against their faith and Jesus’ teaching of the Great Commission, they
cannot and will not concede to a ‘faith moratorium’ in order to please
an atheistic government during the Olympic Games.”
Fu is one of five Chinese activists who met with President Bush at the
White House this week to discuss China’s policies. At first Fu did not
think Bush’s planned visit to the Olympics in early August would be
helpful, but he told The Washington Post on Tuesday that he is now encouraged because the president plans to raise issues of religious freedom while in Beijing.
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