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In the Wall Street Journal’s latest Weekend Interview, Bob Fu, founder of China Aid and refugee in the United States since 1997, spoke about his decades-long struggle to promote democracy and Christianity in his home country of China. His comments on recent events involving protests and dissidents coincided with the 23rd anniversary of the democracy movement and crackdown in Tiananmen Square in which Fu was a participant.
After fleeing to the US to escape persecution and imprisonment, Fu founded the China Aid Association (CAA) in 2002. CAA monitors and reports on religious freedom in China, particularly focusing on the fate of believers who belong to banned or unofficial house churches, which encompass 60 to 80 million followers. In the Wall Street Journal Fu says the organization has a “three pronged strategy”: "’exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused, and spiritually and legally equipping’ the Chinese ‘to defend their faith and freedom.’” In an interview for the Bush Center’s Freedom Collection, Fu discusses why his fight for Christianity in China is so important and so difficult: “And after all, the religious freedom is the first freedom above every other freedoms.” Watch Fu’s Freedom Collection interview here. Read the full text of the Wall Street Journal Weekend Interview, “Bob Fu: The Pastor of China's Underground Railroad”, here. This post was written by Amanda Schnetzer, Director of Human Freedom at the George W. Bush Institute. Bob Fu was a leader in the student democracy movement at Tiananmen Square in 1989. He later converted to Christianity and became a house church pastor and a founder, along with his wife Heidi, of a Bible school.
Amanda Schnetzer serves as Fellow, Global Initiatives at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas.
Previously, Amanda served as Director Global Initiatives after serving as founding director of the Human Freedom Initiative. In this role, she was responsible for developing innovative research, programmatic, and policy efforts to advance societies rooted in political and economic freedom and to empower women to lead in their communities and countries.
Amanda has twenty years of experience in the international arena and a background in public policy research and analysis, public affairs, and management of diverse, high-level stakeholders. As senior fellow and director of studies at Freedom House in New York, Amanda guided research for the organization’s definitive studies of freedom. She began her career at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, supporting research on U.S. foreign policy and international politics. Amanda is a published writer and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds degrees from Georgetown University and Southern Methodist University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.Full Bio