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Former President of Official China Christian Council Passed Away

Dr. Wenzao Han, former president of the government-sanctioned China Christian Council from 1996 to 2002, has passed away on Feb. 3 in Nanjing, announced the Christian-based Chinese voluntary organizat
( [email protected] ) Feb 05, 2006 07:42 PM EST

Dr. Wenzao Han, former president of the government-sanctioned China Christian Council from 1996 to 2002, has passed away on Feb. 3 in Nanjing, announced the Christian-based Chinese voluntary organization Amity Foundation.

As a graduate of the Shanghai St. John’s University founded by Anglican bishop S. J. Sekoresehewsky in 1879, the 83-year-old leader has served in many important positions in promoting religious affairs to the Chinese government.

From 1985 to 2003, Han served with the Amity Foundation in the capacity of General Secretary, Executive Vice President and Vice President. He also served as Vice Chairperson of the Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference for more than 10 years. After his retirement, Han served as Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Protestant Churches in China since 2001.

Within his 6-year service with the China Christian Council, Han has repeatedly defended for China on religious freedom issue publicly, sources say. According to the Hong Kong-based newspaper Sing Dao Daily, Han has once admitted that religious workers face persecutions in Mainland China when being asked by the Western media about Chinese government’s restriction on religions. However, he argued that one cannot expect the policy of religious freedom in China runs well at every place of the huge nation.

Moreover, Han disagreed with the criticism of the U.S. over China’s religious freedom in the International Religious Freedom Report 1999 published by the U.S. Department of State.

Han’s funeral service will be held at 9:00 a.m. of Feb. 9 at the Nanjing Funeral Home. The memorial service will be held at Mouchou Church at 2:30 p.m. on the same day, according to Amity Foundation.