【KNS Newsletter Reporter: Huang Ziyi】
On August 16th, Do Hee-youn, the head of the Citizens’ Coalition for the Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees hosted a seminar on International Refugees and Religious Freedom at the Korea Press Center. The religious suppression and persecution in China as well as solutions about guaranteeing freedom of religious belief and human rights have been discussed at seminar. Youngjae Kim, a professor from Dankook University headed the seminar. The participants watched a video first, Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China.
After watching this video, Do Hee-youn expressed sadness and said he had a similar experience, so he had deep experience with the hardship suffered by these Christians. Hearing this kind of things from a church leader earlier, it occurred to him to help these Christians report the situation, make more consultations and make effort to resolve their problems together.
In the seminar, Do Hee-youn, the head of the Citizens’ Coalition for the Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees, lawyer Myung-Sup Byun from Sooin Law Firm, Kim Jeong-min, an expert of the International Relations Institute of National University of Mongolia, Kim Jeong-Ae, an author and a North Korean defector, Linda Wang, a former Chinese lawyer, also one of the spokesmen of refugees of the Church of Almighty God made speeches.
As the first spokesman in this seminar, lawyer Myung-Sup Byun talked about the necessary legal conditions, credibility and consistency of the statements for people present who failed to get refugee status. He also introduced the asylum process in detail. And he added human rights of people of religious world and in special social groups should be protected, provided they suffer persecution.
Kim Jeong-min was the second spokesman. He had some understanding of religious suppression and had spoken to the relevant people, noting that China’s neighbors were all affected by Chinese government.
The third spokesman was Linda Wang, a representative of the Church of Almighty God. She felt grateful to attend this seminar. And she said China was powerful outside, but it stretched out its evil hand to everywhere. She also said because of religious suppression in China, her mother was detained and her father committed suicide because he couldn’t bear the persecution of the CCP. After experiencing these sufferings, she had seen clearly the substance of the CCP. She said, “China just respects the freedom of belief on the surface, but it uses ‘keep the social order’ as an excuse to suppress religious belief. The CCP designates Christianity as evil cult, expels preachers, arrests and imprisons Christians and even kills Christians without the least hesitation.”
The fourth spokesman was Kim Jeong-Ae. This author talked about her hard life in North Korea, and her mood after fleeing North Korea because of the current situation of dictatorship in North Korea.
Many mournful truth had been released at the second part of the seminar. After hearing Zhang Fu’s speech, who suffered religious suppression and persecution in China and then escaped to South Korea, all people were plunged into grief. At last, Mr. Zhang made a speech focused on his own experiences which had been reported in a program of a certain TV station, The Reporter.
“My name is Zhang Fu, I was persecuted by the CCP due to believing in God in China. I have to suffer the pain of being parted with my wife and son and flee to South Korea to seek asylum. Unexpectedly, after I fled China, the CCP stretched its evil hand overseas and tried every possible means to force me to go back to China. Now I will talk about what I have gone through.” “I believed in the in 1998 with my parents. After stepped into the society, bitter and drifting working life made me see the darkness and evil, depravity and corruption of the world. I felt extremely empty and sad, perplexed and helpless, and was unable to find the direction of life. In 2005, when the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God testified about Almighty God’s work of the last days to me, I got to know the Lord Jesus had already returned. Almighty God is exactly the returned Lord Jesus. From Almighty God’s words, I understood how to be a real man, how to walk on the right path of the human life. My wife neither nor oppose my belief. However, good times didn’t last long. One day in 2010, my wife saw rumor condemning and slandering the Church of Almighty God when she read news online. She believed it and started to constrain me in my belief in God. From then on, there was no peace in our home anymore. Especially since the CCP used the May 28 McDonald’s Murder Case to frame the Church of Almighty God in 2014, my wife has been increasingly deceived by the CCP’s rumor. She opposed my belief even more and discouraged me from reading God’s words and attending meetings. She asked me to keep my cellphone on 24 hours so that she could know my whereabouts any time. Once I didn’t answer the phone in time, she would quarrel with me, and even forced me to give up my belief many times with her death. I felt extremely painful and oppressed. Never did I expect that the rumor spread by the CCP could make my wife hysterical. Seeing my wife was poor and deeply deceived by the rumor spread by the CCP, I could only always pray for her.”
“During the Spring Festival in 2015, some of the brothers and sisters in my church were arrested in succession. I faced the danger of being arrested any time. I had no choice but to leave my 2-year-old son and my parents who were in their 70s. After many setbacks, I fled to South Korea for asylum. I thought I could enjoy the freedom of believing in God in South Korea, a liberal democratic country. However, I never expected that I was still unable to flee from the persecution of the CCP.
On May 18, 2016, my wife took my son and my elder sister to Jeju Island and contacted me. In the evening of May 22, I was very excited when I met my family. I felt heartbreaking when I thought my young kid had suffered the pain of being parted with his father, and I held my son and wept. If the CCP hadn’t persecuted me, how could I bear to part with my son, making him lose father’s love at such a young age? How could I be willing to leave my home? Wasn’t it the CCP government who destroyed my happy family?
When I was immersed in the happiness of reunion with my family. Never did I expect that this meeting was a scheme plotted by the CCP itself. On the afternoon of May 23, I went out for a walk, and returned to the hotel at about 5pm. As I entered the room, I saw a man dodging into the toilet swiftly. The man noticed I had seen him, so he came out and sat down, pretending to be calm. He dared not look into my eyes. I asked who he was. He said he was Xiaohan, my wife’s colleague. A few seconds later, he suddenly went out of the room without notice. At that moment, I suddenly noticed my cell phones had been tampered and my passport was gone. I asked my wife who took away my passport. My wife urgently explained that she called the police for she thought I had run away, and it was the policeman who took away my passport. I felt it strange. How could it be possible for me to run since my luggage, my passport and my cell phones were left in the hotel? Obviously, my wife was lying. I felt disgusted about that and she apologized to me. Later she contacted a policeman surnamed Cheng through WeChat. Mr. Cheng said he was a police officer of the Public Security Bureau of Shanxi Province, and had already dealt with over 2,000 cases of the Church of Almighty God. He then said so much words to coax me to go back to China. About half an hour later, Xiaohan entered our room again. He said it was good for me to talk with Mr. Cheng. I asked whether he knew Mr. Cheng. He blurted out that Mr. Cheng was his teacher. Later, Xiaohan tried hard to pry into the information of our South Korean church, which made me realize that Xiaohan must be a CCP spy.
That very night, my wife and elder sister went out in turns. Every time they came back, they pressed hard on me for returning to China. I told my wife again about my situation and the reason why I could not go back to China. I hoped she and my child could stay and live in South Korea. ‘No way! You must go back with me.’ she said. At last, seeing me have no inclination to go back, they took away my wallet, credit card and the only 700,000 KRW on me and stole my cellphones while I was sleeping soundly at night. In the morning of May 24, my wife said I must go back to China with her and even threatened me with death. After much effort, I finally escaped with another cell phone on me. About a quarter after I arrived at the Jeju Island airport, my sister suddenly appeared behind me to snatch my cell phone while I was editing the message to her, hoping that she could leave my passport to me. I snatched it back and turned around to run away. At this moment, I saw my wife was in front of me and Xiaohan was at my right side. They three had surrounded me. I immediately dashed to the crowd. ‘Stop, stop, Zhang Fu stop!’ Xiaohan then shouted at me and rushed to me. I ran desperately and dared not stop for a second, fearing of being caught up by them. I kept running through streets and alleys of Jeju Island for over 4 hours. The fear in my heart was beyond words. Thank God for His protection that I escaped narrowly.
In August 2016, the CCP incited my wife to South Korea again. As soon as she got off the plane, she was accompanied by someone. She obviously knew where I was, but she did not contact me. She followed some unidentified people to call a press conference in the name of searching for her husband and made troubles at the Church of Almighty God, vilifying the Church by saying that the Church coerced her husband so that her husband could not go back to China. She used South Korean news media to wildly make public opinions, attempting to force me back to China and achieve the purpose of discrediting the Church of Almighty God. My wife was just an ordinary housewife. Without the CCP’s instigation, plot and involvement, how was she able to do it? I knew she was used as a tool by the CCP. The CCP had not only deprived me of the right to freedom of religion, ruined my family, but also made use of my wife’s tears and child’s crying to deceive those who were unaware of the fact, which framed the Church and also caused the public to lay the blame on the Church of Almighty God. It was the evil intention of the CCP.
A few days ago, I happened to see a piece of news that the CCP wanted to repatriate 5 North Korean defectors forcibly, which caused the 5 North Korean defectors to commit suicide by drinking poison. I was enraged at this news and grieved for the 5 North Korean defectors who longed for a free life. There are still many North Korean defectors being arrested by the CCP government and confined in prison in China. Thousands of Chinese Christians are still struggling hard under the suppression and persecution of the CCP government. I wish more people with noble aspirations can stand up and call upon for the North Korean defectors and the persecuted Chinese Christians to expose the CCP’s evil deeds in abusing human rights, and denounce the CCP for its inhuman persecution on the North Korean defectors and Christians.”
At that day, the conference disclosed an open letter from Mr. Willy Fautré, the director of Human Rights Without Frontiers. The letter called upon the South Korean authorities to grant those 41 Chinese Christians political asylum. Those 41 Christians were forced to leave China to escape religious persecution of their Church. Their Alien Cards were withdrawn by the South Korean Immigration Office, among which twenty-seven people received the Departure Order and fourteen people received Disapproval Notices on the extension of their sojourn period.