Bob (Xiqiu) Fu knows firsthand what Christians and other minority groups face in China today.
Speaking on Zoom at a series of lectures hosted by the Salt and Light Council, he described the persecution by the Chinese Communist Party and its dictatorial leader Xi Jinping as the worst oppression since the horrors of Mao tse Tsung amid the 1960s.
Fu grew up in China as an atheist under the Communist regime and was educated in the best Chinese universities. After graduating, he taught English for the Communist Party at a university in Beijing. Then came Tiananmen Square and the student protests. He was drawn to her and her vision of an American-style democracy. He was horrified when the party ordered the People’s Liberation Army to slaughter their fellow citizens with machine guns and tanks. The striking image of a student kneeling in front of a chariot was taken in Tiananmen Square.
It changed Fu’s life forever as he recognized that there was a God and that God was using the slaughter to touch lives, including his. Thanks to Western missionaries, who had worked there for several years with little result, he came to know Jesus. His first convert, Heidi, was his girlfriend and later became his wife. This sparked a period of explosive growth for the church – he described 500 different Bible studies at a major university in the late 1990s.
He and Heidi fled to the United States and a few years ago were visited at their headquarters in Midland, Texas. by a graduate of this university. This person reported that a church baptized over 10,000 people.
Fu spoke of the three-pronged war of Xiping and the Communists as he solidified his grip as a lifelong ruler – the first Chinese ruler to do so since Mao. They targeted the church, literally ripping crosses from buildings, even officially licensed churches. They banned meetings and jailed pastors. One was sentenced to 12 years for simply having an offering box, while others were jailed for similar invented charges.
The Communists also attacked children, demanding that they renounce their faith and forbidding them to hear the Bible. Renouncing their faith is the first time that has been demanded in 40 years, Fu said.
Another man, married to an American and therefore eligible for dual citizenship, spent half the year in the United States and half in China so that he could personally contact people. Traveling to the border near Burma, he saw impoverished children and opened schools, teaching around 2,000 children in 16 schools. He was imprisoned for seven years.
Fu explained that the Communists see children as the future of the party and therefore must control their education.
The third front is an attack on the rule of law as you can see in the prison sentences handed down. The party organized a massive raid of hundreds of Chinese lawyers.
Fu didn’t mince words when talking about Covid-19. He said he had no first-hand knowledge, but based on documents and reports he had read, he believed it was from a laboratory in Wuhan under the auspices of the military.
His lucid speech exposed the challenges of dealing with the Chinese Communist Party which has been ruthless with the people who oppose it.
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