The China Bible exhibition should have been in China, said a Chinese Christian rights activist visiting the United States, Tuesday, after visiting the staff of a persecution monitor organization.
Dr. Li Baiguang was one of three Chinese house church Christians –including renowned activist writers Wang Yi and Yu Jie – to visit U.S. president George W. Bush at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Li expressed dismay that the China’s church would choose to hold the exhibition in the United States, though he said that the exhibition was "not necessarily bad."
"I hope they could move this (exhibition) to the big cities in China. If the people can know more about the Bible that is great," Li said on Tuesday.
"If they (the official church) used the money to bring the exhibition to Chinese people, then the result is better," he said, pointing out that there was a need to promote the Bible to the nation of 1.4 billion, where "many people have yet to know" the "true meaning" of Christianity.
"I wish the official church would not waste the money, and go to the countryside to spread the gospel and not go to the United States to do this show," Li added.
Under the official religious regulations, in place since last year, Christians – including those worshipping at government-monitored churches – are not allowed to propagate their faith outside of church.
House churches, which refused to register with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) churches, have been known to openly evangelize in defiance of government regulations.
Roughly 80 percent of China’s house church Christians comes from the rural sectors, where reports of beatings and imprisonment of believers have often been reported.
Li, who is scheduled to return to Beijing soon, met with the staff at the Oklahoma headquarters for Voice of Martyrs, an international Christian-persecution watchdog, Tuesday.
"I feel that Americans are really fortunate to have a nation that honors God. I hope they can pray for us in China," Li said after the conference.
Li added that he would pray for America to "keep their Christian faith well" while avoiding "moral and societal-decadence."
The President of China Aid Association, Rev. Bob Fu, who organized Li’s visit to VOM, said that he would continue praying for the rights activist.
"We would certainly pray for his safe return. He is obviously confident that the Lord would protect him to continue his work in China," said Fu.