As human rights remains high on the agenda when China-U.S. talk is underway, several U.S.-based organizations have issued a joint report to highlight the government-sponsored torture of Chinese evangelicals.
The "2005 report on torture and abuse against independent Chinese House church members and leaders" has recorded some of the most egregious cases of brutality and state-sponsored torture of evangelical Christians, with details of testimonies including photos evidence and video interviews of 19 believers from five different provinces. The Texas-based Chinese persecution watchdog China Aid Association (CAA) has spearheaded the documentation.
Institute of Religion and Public Policy, Jubilee Campaign, USA and Midland Ministerial Alliance are the three other organizations that have jointly released the report.
Despite China has ratified the international human rights treaty of the United Nations regarding the standards of torture or other cruel and inhuman punishment, Chinese authorities have been widely criticized for abusing their power and mistreated prisoners both physically and spiritually.
The report, according to CAA, demonstrated "the sharp contrast between how arbitrarily justice is administered in the PRC as compared to their own written laws and how inconsistent the PRC’s government authorities are in obeying their own written laws."
The victims of the torture in the report are all evangelical Christians detained or persecuted for their faith. The persecution against Protestant House Churches in China has intensified. According to reliable reports by CAA, from February to December 2005, at least 1317 confirmed arrests of house church pastors, leaders, and believers has occurred in over twenty provinces in China. Seventeen foreign missionaries including eleven Americans in ten different provinces were arrested during this time.
Many of the detained reported to CAA that they have experienced coercion of evidence through drugging and other extremely abusive methods by the interrogators from both Chinese Public Security officers and State Security agents.
Bob Fu, chairman of CAA and the report’s primary author, pointed out that the report has just showed part of the terrifying picture in Mainland China.
"Since this report only deals with some cases of the torture and abuse against evangelical House Church movement, it only reflects the tip of the iceberg and is by no means an exhaustive report," he said. "Rather, it is meant to provide clear and concise details of what occurs on a regular basis within the PRC’s borders."
In conclusion, the U.S.-based faith institutes condemned the PRC government for demonstrating no regard for national nor international laws in their attempt to purge independent Christian faith from China. They therefore urge the international community to hold those officials (some named in the report) who involved torture and abuse accountable.
Christians are also encouraged to write their concerns regarding religious freedom to the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in different states.