Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Behind the Scenes at the Olympics: Chinese Injustices Continue to Multiply

The Chinese cheating in the Olympic Games is nothing compared to what they're doing behind the view of NBC's cameras.

Amid the medal-bedecked pageantry of the Beijing Olympics, it’s easy to forget that China holds another, less savory distinction: It maintains one of the more repressive regimes of religious persecution. As the recent travails of one missionary group demonstrate, even with the world watching, the host country remains as intolerant of religious freedom as ever.

On Sunday, August 17, members of the Sheridan, Wyoming, mission group Vision Beyond Borders arrived at Kunming Airport in Yunnan province with 315 Bibles they planned to give out to Chinese Christians. (Similar Bibles can sell on the black market in China for the equivalent of six months' salary.) The group’s leader, Pat Klein, told reporters that customs officials seized the Bibles even though they were printed according to strict Chinese requirements.

"The authorities at the airport kept asking us to leave and producing pieces of paper which they said proved that bringing more than one Bible per person into the country was illegal," Klein said. "But it all looked bogus to us."

So Klein and his two traveling companions staged a sit-in at the airport in protest. They were videotaped and awakened during the night. The next day, Klein was told their Bibles would be returned to them when they left the country, but the group didn’t believe these assurances and abandoned their protest empty handed.

Ironically, last year China denounced “false rumors” that Bibles would be banned from the Olympic Games, insisting that 10,000 Bibles would be distributed in the Olympic Village. However, there are no subsequent reports confirming they went through with their promise.

And so, the airport standoff between American Christians and Chinese officials has ended, having lasted only 30 hours. Chinese Christians, on the other hand, struggle day in and day out to observe their faith under tyrannical Communist rule. Unlike their American brethren, persecuted Chinese Christians don’t have a free nation they can return to...

Read the rest of Kathy Shaidle's enlightening article in right here.