Religious Freedom in China? Hardly!
Recently, President Bush visited China and talked about religious freedom there, attending a "legal" church. Also recently, TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) founder Paul Crouch talked about religious freedom in China and emphasized that house churches in China need only register with the government to enjoy freedom "much [like churches here in] the USA". Evangelist Luis Palau also caused quite a stir by encouraging house churches to register with the Chinese government!
Update 2/1/06: Luis Palau issued a statement apologizing for his remarks. You can read about it in my update here.
I don't have time to comment on this in depth, but I did want to make the point that many reputable organizations, such as Voice of the Martyrs can tell you that there is no such thing as true religious freedom in China. And for someone like Paul Crouch or Luis Palau to suggest that a house church registering with the government in China is no different than a church in the USA registering with the federal government for tax purposes (a whole 'nother topic in itself!) is outrageous!
Let's be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in chains (both literally and figuratively) in places like China.
Added comment: By the way, after posting this, I had a thought: Does anyone else see a similarity between someone telling the house churches in China, "All you have to do is register with the government and all this freedom can be yours" and Satan telling Jesus, "All you have to do is bow down and worship me, and all these kingdoms can be yours"?
Until next time,