Relaymedia

Luis Palau Apologizes for Statements on Church Registration in China

Evangelist Luis Palau issued a statement earlier this week and expressed apology to some remarks he had made during a press conference in Beijing.
( [email protected] ) Dec 02, 2005 09:34 AM EST

Evangelist Luis Palau issued a statement earlier this week and expressed an apology for some of the remarks he had made during a press conference in Beijing.

In a six paragraph statement issued from his home in Portland, Oregon, Palau said that it is not his role to suggest churches to register.

"It's not my role as an evangelist to suggest that churches in China should register. My role is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ," he said.

Palau said that it has always been his goal to protect God's people, not to create problems, referring to the Christians in China.

"I've lived in countries where Christians endured hardship for their faith and I have nothing but the highest respect and admiration for brothers and sisters who have suffered for being faithful and dedicated followers of Jesus Christ."

He added that being able to preach in China has been the greatest joy of his ministry, and he hopes that his trips will lead China to greater religious freedom.

On Palau's apology, China Aid Association (CAA) issued a statement yesterday pointing out that Palau has been preaching within government sanctioned buildings. The organization encouraged the evangelist to "push for evangelism in China with true freedom as he has been doing in the USA and other free countries."

On the other hand, a report from Mission News Network quoted Werner Burklin, founder of China Partner Ministries, to support Palau's view on religious freedom in China.

"All Christians can worship freely if they just abide by the law of the land. People are not being persecuted for their faith in China, they're prosecuted for not abiding by the law of the land in many instances," said Burklin.

Burklin added that if all Christians in China were persecuted for the faith in Christ, then millions would now be in jail.

Palau suggested during a press conference in Beijing for the unregistered Chinese churches to register. He told the reporters that churches should receive greater freedom and blessings from the government.

When he returned to the U.S., Palau was bombarded with thousands of calls and e-mails after a radio program protested the statements he made. Several persecution watch organizations, including CAA, also expressed disapproval.