Human Rights Are Given Us By God
An Interview With A Chinese Pastor


Guo Baosheng

Pastor and Democracy Activist. Guo was born in 1972 in Qinhai province, China. He was arrested and subsequently expelled from Renmin University of China for his democratization activism. He became a Christian and served as a pastor until 2008, when he defected to the U.S. to continue his democracy activism in Washington D.C. He is the author of numerous publications.

Interviewer: Hanako Cho

Interviewer: Tell us about the situation of Christianity in China.

Guo: Ever since Xi Jinping became chairman the crackdown on Christianity has intensified, in particular the non-government authorized House Church. In 2014, 14,000 church crosses were ripped down in Zhejiang province and there are many cases where police infiltrate and inspect House Church facilities. One House Church in Wenzhou was destroyed without a trace. The day ought to be remembered as a new Good Friday.

On the other hand, the government-authorized allegedly Protestant church, The Three-Self Patriotic Movement, is no longer a church but a government policy for the Sinicization of religion. Unlike the House Church, they refuse to acknowledge Christ’s resurrection, the creation story or other mystical phenomena. They reduce Christ down to a mere symbol. Of course, they don’t teach the greatness of God either. They only teach ethics. In addition, the new facial recognition system allows the government to gather every piece of information about the people attending church.

At one particular Three-Self Patriotic Movement building they have a banner saying “Uotsuri Island was given to China by God”. The government is using the church to ignite an anti-Japan sentiment in the people.

The Communist Party is actually influencing churches outside of China as well. The director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs is known to regularly visit Taiwan. Even in the U.S., China’s Communist Party officials go to clerical gatherings in Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, and talk to pastors. This is an alternative and more discreet method compared to ripping down crosses in Wenzhou.


Faith Cannot Be Taken Away

Interviewer: What is the relation between democratization and spreading Christianity?

Guo: All people are sinful. That includes Mr. Xi. Christianity teaches that all people are equal. And that it is God who gives us, his children, human rights. It is not the Communist Party of China who gives us human rights. On this ground, respecting human rights becomes a foundation for spreading democratization.

The church occupies the position of an NGO, and even the Communist Party cannot deny this.

Interviewer: Do you think it is possible to eradicate the warped Christianity that the Communist Party is spreading?

Guo: The fire of faith will never go out, no matter what kind of oppression the government imposes. We have sowed the seeds of the Gospel all over the place, so I believe that the people will continue to spread the Word in times of darkness, even if that means going underground. Once China is democratized these seeds will grow to become a huge tree.

Things like property rights and the right to participate in politics are external rights; but the freedom of faith is an inner right. They can throw us in prison, but they cannot take away our faith in God.

The Communist Party is pressuring religion by ripping down crosses and denying the church’s use of tents, but this inner right is a natural right given to us by God, so it cannot ever be taken away.

Interviewer: What do you expect from the U.S. and Japan?

Guo: Trump revived Christianity in the U.S. We can now say “Merry Christmas” all we like. He is also embarking on a trade war against China, and I support this move. China is a country that lacks democratic values and oppresses human rights. The international community must show them what an ideal country really looks like.

Human Rights Are Given Us By God
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