While George Bush was visiting a government sponsored church service, Hua Huiqi, Chinese Home Church Christian Activist, was being arrested on his bicycle outside. Later in the day he escaped from police custody.
The people that Bush attended church with were not the usual members of the church, but political workers and people trained by them to act like believers.
Before the service, an ‘old believer’ who was baptized at Kuanjie Church nearly 20 years ago complained: “Whether you are a believer or not, no one is allowed to enter the church. When President Bush comes tomorrow, where can we do our Sunday service?”
Another believer who lives nearby Kuanjie Church joked: “President Bush is coming to preach the Gospel to those who don’t believe in the Lord (referring to those police officers and officials). We are already believers, so we certainly don’t have to come here tomorrow.”
After the church service, President Bush said: “Laura and I just had the great joy and privilege of worshiping here in Beijing, China. You know, it just goes to show that God is universal, and God is love, and no state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion.
“And I want to thank the pastor for his hospitality. And I want to thank this beautiful choir for singing Amazing Grace and Edelweiss. It was a touching moment. It’s been a joy to worship here. Again, I want to thank you, sir, and God bless you. God bless you.”
In other news:
Beijing Christian bookstore owner Mr. Shi Weihan is in deteriating health, after being arrested 4 months ago, because of deteriating prison condition and refusal of his diabetes meds. He has confessed to “engaging in the printing and distribution of a large number of illegal publications”, because he was selling Christian literature that was not published by the government church.
Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, and his wife Wu have both been arrested and are being held in Zhengzhou City, the Capital of Henan Province. Persecution of Christians, other religious folks, and anyone who has a complaint against China is up since planning for the Olympic games.
Here are some sites that monitor persecution of Christians in China: