F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines
Week of:
May 21, 2000
Remember the Murder of Father Van



F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Advocates of increased trade with China ignore that country's continuing persecution and murder of Christians and other believers.



"On May 13, 1999, Yan Weiping traveled from his native city of Baoding to a private home in Beijing," relates Terence Jeffrey, editor of the national conservative weekly Human Events. "An undercover Roman Catholic priest, he came to say a secret Mass for local members of the underground Catholic Church. In the People's Republic of China," Jeffrey explains, "people are not allowed to practice the Roman Catholic faith and the Roman Catholic Church is an outlaw organization. In the 1950s," he recalls, "China's leading Catholic bishops were imprisoned, while Catholic buildings and churches were confiscated by the minions of Mao Tse Tung. Some churches were destroyed, some were converted to nonreligious purposes, and some were handed over to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association -- a counterfeit church, controlled by the Communist regime."

In a recent issue of Human Events, Jeffrey describes how Catholics in China "wanting to participate in the sacraments must do so furtively, in private homes or open fields, led by priests who risk arrest and detention without trial. So it was," he notes, "that on May 13th, as Father Yan was celebrating Mass, Chinese security forces burst through the doors of a private home and dragged him away without explanation. That night the priest's battered body was found on a nearby street." Father Yan is not "the only Chinese recently murdered for his beliefs," Jeffrey emphasizes. "Beyond these killings lies a pattern of persecution. All members of religious denominations not officially approved and controlled by the Communist regime," he asserts, "are at risk of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment."

Jeffrey urges Members of Congress to remember the murder of Father Yan when considering our trade relationship with China. "The argument that China's apologists in Washington make is that exposing Chinese Communists to American corporate executives and their investment dollars will liberate China from its dreadful tyranny," he observes. "Contact with the men who run Motorola and Boeing and Loral and Hughes, and their money, we are led to believe, will cause communism to crumble in [China] just as it once did in the USSR. This is a lie," Jeffrey insists. "Exposure to Western businessmen did not doom Soviet communism. Exposure to Christianity did."

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Evil Empire should be attributed to "the witness of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II -- and millions East and West who shared their faith," Jeffrey declares. "That was the spirit that crushed communism in Europe," he affirms. "It is not likely to be brought into Beijing in the briefcase of a U.S. defense contractor looking to sign a new joint venture with the regime that murdered Father Yan." Jeffrey wishes the Republican leadership in Congress would "stand as resolutely with Christians in China as Ronald Reagan once stood with Christians in the Soviet Union." If only they would, he predicts, "the wall of tyranny that maintains China as the world's last great Communist redoubt would, at last, begin to crumble."


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