Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Protests in Beijing

There have been a few protests in Beijing, China over the past few days. I have to admit that I've been sleeping on what's been going on in China pretty much all of my life. Recently one of our church's leaders has awakened me to the deteriorating status of human rights in communist China. Among many other atrocities citizens of China don't have the freedom of speech or the freedom of religion. The result is many of my Christian brothers and sisters are either dead or in prison labor camps because of their faith.

The issues and the details go much deeper than I have time for in this blog, but I've noticed some interesting protests in Beijing now that the Olympic games are about to start. One of these peaceful protests hits really close to home for me.

The first protest involved a young British man named Iain Thom climbing a lightning rod near Tiananmen Square and hanging a large banner that read, "One World, One Dream, Free Tibet" and "Tibet will be free." Another activist named James Murray hung a similar banner over the River Thames in London that read "Beijing 2008: Make Olympic History: Free Tibet." Both of the campaigners and their other fellow activists were said to be from a group called Students for a Free Tibet. To my understanding they wanted to use the popularity of the Olympics in Beijing as leverage to bring China's occupation of Tibet to light.

Late last night some videos were posted on of another protest happening in Beijing. An activist named "Gadfly" turned two luxury hotel rooms into what looks like murder scenes complete with human sized dummies made out of pillows. On the walls he painted murals and Bible verses such as Proverbs 31:8-9 "Speak out for those who have no voice." The murals included the symbol for the 2008 Olympics and a hill side scene that reads, "Beijing 2008 Our world our nightmare." On the walls Gadfly also asked for the release of 5 prisoners in China. Each prisoner listed is a leader or prominent figure in either their respective religion or in the freedom movement in China.
1. RELEASE Pastor Zhang Rongliang
2. RELEASE Xu Na, Falun Gong
3. RELEASE Hu Jia, Buddhist / Activist
4. RELEASE Shi Tao, Journalist
5. RELEASE Guo Feixiong, self-trained “barefoot” lawyer.
He also asks for the People's Republic of China to "ratify ICCPR." ICCPR stands for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In other words, Gadfly is asking China to adhere to this treaty enacted by the U.N. in 1966. Right now Chinese citizens do not enjoy freedom of speech or the right to believe and worship what they want in public. To learn more go to
You can also watch the videos of the Gadfly filming himself transforming the rooms below.
So far I agree with both of these protests. Everyone deserves the right to choose their own religion. Free will is God given. I pray that my people in China will remain strong and hold fast to God's promises.

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