Since news broke of activist Chen Guangcheng’s escape from house arrest late last month, Chinese-born and Texas-based Pastor Bob Fu and his organisation ChinaAid have often featured prominently. Fu was a major conduit of early information on Chen’s situation, and acted as his interpreter when he addressed a session of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China by telephone. At The New York Times, Andrew Jacobs describes Fu’s work, history and growing political influence:
If the drama over Mr. Chen’s fate has placed a harsh spotlight on China’s capacity for repression and created a diplomatic migraine for the White House, it has also been something of a boon to Mr. Fu, 44. His organization, ChinaAid, is at the crossroads of a growing movement among American Christians agitating for religious freedom in China and the wider dissident network inside the United States, as well as members of the underground church in China trying to practice their faith in a hostile environment ….
But some critics say that Mr. Fu’s high-profile role as an advocate for religious freedom is a double-edged sword. It has raised awareness of human rights abuses. But his close association with Republicans and evangelical Christians, the critics say, risks stoking China’s fears that foreign forces are plotting to subvert the ruling Communist Party.
“Bob’s heart is in the right place, but sometimes in his zeal to bring attention to his cause he gets sucked up into the partisan maelstrom of Washington,” said one American human rights advocate who works closely with ChinaAid and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to offend Mr. Fu.
Fu speaks for himself at Foreign Policy, explaining “why I’m working to save my homeland, one soul at a time.”
ChinaAid, the organization I run, attempts to advance religious freedom and rule of law in China, softening the soil for the Gospel. We provide money and training for legal activists and sponsor the only nationwide house-church magazine, of which 80,000 copies are distributed nationwide.
We aid non-Christians as well; through our network of supporters, we helped Chen — who by God’s common grace advanced the rule of law and protection of life in China– take his case to the American people ….
In the Bible, the book of Romans says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil and cling to what is good and always serve each other in love.” With this kind of message, Christianity will blossom. This is the only way freedom — both individually and nationally — will spread in China.