The Winter Games currently in China might be in full swing, but not without some controversy. There are many issues surrounding human rights and the ongoing persecution of Christians in China. But how should we respond? Should we be concerned?
In the past year, we have heard about the genocide campaign against the Uighurs, and the crackdown on democratic marches in Hong Kong. Accusations of favoritism are right now being levelled at Chinese Olympic officials. What next?
Greg Bondar from Family Voice Australia joined us on 20Twenty to share his thoughts on the Chinese Government’s contempt for Christianity, and how he feels these issues will impact Christians well into the future.
Greg makes it very clear that his concerns are not about the Chinese people, but rather the behaviour of the Chinese Government. He says they have been very active in silencing and persecuting people, particularly Christians. We cannot turn a blind eye to such things.
“Whether you’re Muslim or Christian, the Chinese government has a lot to answer for,” says Greg. “There are an estimated 1 million people being detained in so-called reeducation camps. Why is the world media doing nothing about it? Because they’ve all got commercial agreements with China. And that says a lot about people’s ethical and moral values when it comes to human rights abuses.”
In China at the moment, Christian churches have been instructed to remove the cross and replace it with a picture of the President. If they don’t abide by the Chinese government’s philosophy, they don’t receive vital funding. There is economic, physical and spiritual persecution going on to make sure that Christianity does not flourish.
Yet there is an incredible revival happening in the underground church. Behind the scenes, China is one of the fastest-growing Christian countries in the world.
Greg is writing a new book called ‘Church and State’, in which he deals with the issue of abiding by the government’s laws up to the point of it conflicting with faith. Greg says he respects the law until it contradicts his Christian worldview.
“I protested last year against the euthanasia and abortion bills in Australia,” says Greg. “I’ve represented Family Voice on parental rights where our faith has been attacked or undermined. Every Christian should stand up and be counted. That’s my interpretation.”
Roman’s 12 is a good guide in these situations, but one of the things it says is that we should never pay back evil for evil. We’ve got to be very careful how we react to a bad or abusive government.
Greg says we have to remember that God is good, and He will take action on our behalf. We have to bear that in mind, but as Christians, we can’t just stand by. We do have to make our voices heard as long as it is in keeping with the local laws.
“For the Chinese, for the athletes in the Chinese Olympic games, I say speak up,” says Greg. “But be respectful and make sure what you say is not going to get you thrown into detention.”
Greg believes that whenever we’re persecuted, we grow. The gospel message is spreading rapidly throughout China, even though there’s so much persecution. Christians are rising up. There is no doubt Christians in China are looking to evangelise during these Olympics. We need to keep China in our prayers.
“Our voice needs to be heard that the Chinese abuse of human rights cannot go unnoticed,” says Greg.
“Evil can only prevail where good men and women fail to act.”