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The towering skyscrapers and modern architecture of cities like Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai leave many visitors in awe of the staggering economic progress China has made in recent years. Indeed, China’s economic reforms have pulled more than 500 million of its citizens out of abject poverty and into the middle class. However, behind the façade of China’s modern cities are personal stories of enormous suffering on account of a basic principle we sometimes take for granted in the West: religious freedom.
In God’s Double Agent: The True Story of a Chinese Christian’s Fight for Freedom, former Chinese dissident and religious prisoner Bob Fu offers a rare glimpse into the hardships and persecution endured by people of faith at the hands of China’s Communist Party. In this deeply personal account of his family, faith, imprisonment for “illegal evangelism” and eventual escape from China, Fu exposes some of China’s most brutal government practices including the enforcement of the one-child per couple policy and continued repression of political and religious dissidents.
After spending two months in prison for running a training program for pastors in the underground “house church” movement, Bob and his wife Heidi continued to face harassment by authorities. Bob was fired from his job teaching English at the Communist Party School, and shortly thereafter the couple discovered that Heidi was pregnant but lacked the requisite “birth permit” which allows a married couple in China to conceive a child. Fearing that Heidi would be subjected to a forced abortion once her pregnancy was discovered, the Fus made a run for it in the dark of night. They left everything behind and fled to Hong Kong, which was still under British control at the time. A day before the British turned Hong Kong over to Chinese rule, Bob and Heidi received political asylum and boarded a plane bound for the U.S.
Since receiving asylum in the United States in 1997, Bob and Heidi have continued their quest to bring religious freedom to China. The book shares numerous accounts of Fu’s James Bond-esque escapades to bring other Chinese dissidents and their families to safety. These stories will keep you on the edge of your seat. Fu is also featured in the Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection.
In an endorsement of God’s Double Agent, former First Lady Laura Bush stated, “Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression.” One thing is certain -- as long as Bob Fu is around, the fight for religious freedom in China will continue.
Chinese Prisoner’s Death Holds a Message for Americans and China
Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner died this week. His death holds a message for Americans and for China.
Release of Chinese Political Prisoner a Timely Reminder to Support Freedom Advocates Abroad
More than half the world’s population still lives in countries where basic political rights and civil liberties are only partly respected, if at all.
Bringing Freedom to the Forefront of 21st Century Politics
Is the global liberal democratic order in danger? Purposefully constructed in the aftermath of World War II, this order -- and the American leadership that is central to its success --has contributed to securing peace and expanding prosperity in the United States and around the world. Today, that order appears to be dissolving. This crisis is not new or sudden; it has been mounting for several years. Global challenges like authoritarian capitalism, violent extremism, demographic pressures, and displaced populations have placed global freedom in decline. Fraying traditional alliances united by core values of freedom are increasingly weak to respond. It is alarming that the downdraft in democratic resilience over the past decade or more includes countries that have long been part of the consolidated democratic West. This is democratic deconsolidation. In much of the Western world, we see a rise in demagogic populism, illiberalism, nationalism, protectionism, and waning conf
The Importance of Speaking Truth to Tyrants
What the president of the United States says matters. Even during the realpolitik policies of détente under Richard Nixon, it was still clear that American policy was based on a set of core values. Nixon’s practical goals of reaching deals with America’s adversaries was never based on the “great chemistry” with himself or praising the Soviet or Communist Chinese leadership doing a “fantastic job.” When the president aligns himself with the autocrats and dictators, he aligns America with their oppression. He sends a message that corruption and brutality are not our concern. Contrast that with how Ronald Reagan defied much of world opinion in calling out the brutality of the Soviet system. Natan Sharansky, then a refusenik imprisoned in a Soviet gulag, later wrote for the Weekly Standard of his thoughts on Reagan’s pronouncement that the USSR was an evil empire: “It was the great, brilliant moment whe