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George W. Bush Institute Freedom Collection Receives Hand Copied Bible Pages from Chinese Prisoners
Yesterday, the China Aid Association presented President Bush with hand-copied bible pages from Chinese prisoners for inclusion in the document archive of the George W. Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection.
Over a decade ago, prisoners in a Chinese labor camp who were charged with illegal religious gathering and sentenced to re-education through labor began to copy the text of a smuggled Bible by hand, book by book. These hand-copied bibles were used by more than two dozen house church Christians in the labor camp for more than a year, sustaining the faith of the prisoners who read them, in secret, in the dark of night. They were smuggled out of the camp, carried to the United States and given to the China Aid Association on behalf of the house church movement in China.
Using video interviews, collected papers and other materials, the Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection will present the personal stories of men and women who have led or participated in freedom movements around the world. These pages, along with other significant materials from freedom and democracy movements around the world, will be preserved as part of the Freedom Collection and displayed on the Collection’s website, which will launch early in 2012.
The Bible text was presented to President Bush by:
•“Bob” Xiqiu Fu, President and Founder, China Aid Association; former house church leader who was imprisoned in 1996
•“Heidi” Fu, Cofounder, China Aid Association; former house church pastor and prisoner of conscience
•Joe Torres, Chairman of the Board, China Aid Association
•Zhenying Liu, “The Heavenly Man”, former house church leader and prisoner
•Weihan Shi, former house church leader in Beijing; imprisoned for three years for printing Bibles in China
•“Kathy” Fengbin Lu, former member of the persecuted Shouwang House Church in Beijing
•“Esther” Xue Yang, daughter of Linfen House Church leaders; mother was imprisoned for two years and released in 2011; father imprisoned in 2009 and is currently serving a three and a half year sentence
•Grace Gege Geng, daughter of “disappeared” and presumably imprisoned human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng
About the George W. Bush Institute:
The George W. Bush Institute seeks to improve the human condition through human freedom, educational reform, global health, and economic growth. In all its programming, the Institute integrates initiatives that empower women and support social enterprise as proven catalysts for change. The Bush Institute is the innovation policy arm of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which supports the Presidential library, located on the campus of SMU in Dallas. For more information, please visit www.bushcenter.com.