China's Christians Face More Persecution

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The Beijing Olympics are now eight days away, but as China prepares for the games, Christians are facing more persecution.

Religious freedom activists say the Chinese government is cracking down on house churches in the name of Olympic security.

For more on the situation for Christian house churches in China, watch Michael Cromartie with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Activists say the Chinese government has jailed bookstore owner She Wee-Hahn, fearing he may stir up trouble during the games.

And Wee-Hahn is not alone.

"Everything is far from okay in China and the wall is still there when it comes to individual liberties and human rights," Congressman Zach Womp explained.

The Congressional Human Rights Caucus and freedom activists say the Chinese government has raided numerous house churches, beaten pastors and interrogated Christians in an effort to avoid any Olympic trouble.

"Repressive measures targeting religious communities have a long history in China, but new measures put in place to maintain so-called social harmony during the Olympics raise the prospect that China will continue to step up repression during and after the games," one activist said.

President Bush is now turning up the heat. Tuesday, he met with five freedom activists, including Pastor Bob Fu.

"It seems that the more persecution there is the more believers," Fu said.

The pastor says Chinese Christians cannot be ignored. With numbers as high as 100 million, believers are now part of the culture. And they're patriots.

"Ironically, when those house churches were attacked in May in Beijing, many of them were holding prayer meetings to pray for their leaders, to pray for a successful, peaceful harmonious Olympics," he said.

Bush promised to take human rights concerns to Beijing. Next week he'll meet with China's president and attend the opening ceremonies.

*Original broadcast July 31, 2008.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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