Thursday, November 08, 2007

Found this on another Blog and Felt Like It Needed to Be Highlighted... Please Pass this On...

Prayer countdown to the Beijing Olympics...

(Note from Tim: David and I asked our dear sister, Kamilla, if she would be willing to write a post on the prayer campaign many believers have joined that is focused on the upcoming Olympics in China. We're grateful Kamilla agreed to our request.)

I'll be boycotting all coverage of the Olympic games this coming summer. Truthfully, I'm a bit bored with the Olympics in general and the summer games in particular. But I have a special reason for not soaking in all that advertising and pretense of the citizen-athlete the games used to be about. This year, Beijing, China will be hosting the games. The opening and closing ceremonies will be orchestrated by none other than Stephen Spielberg. It's difficult to fathom the man who brought us Schindler's list participating in Beijing's propaganda efforts.

These games are being compared to the Berlin games of 1936. And if we're not old enough to remember that or know about it, a moment's thought will bring to mind why the comparison might be apt. The Chinese regime intends to use the games as a sort of global "coming out" party, just as Hitler tried to use the 1936 Berlin games...

Beijing's airport and subway system are both being DOUBLED in capacity in anticipation of some half-million visitors. In order to make this infrastructure improvement and to build the Olympic venues, approximately 10% of Beijing's 17 million residents are being displaced--an estimated 1.5 million people.

Beijng's air is a sometimes toxic mix of car exhaust, factory smoke and sand from the Gobi desert. They have planted some 2 million trees and are expected to spend some 3 billion on the efforts to clean Beijing's air for the athletes. Even so, reports are that the IOC may postpone some outdoor events if the air quality does not sufficiently improve.

But all this, aside from the troubling displacement of residents, is mere money. The real shame of these upcoming games is the whitewash Beijing will be able to put on its human rights record. Amnesty International, no longer the paragon of human rights it used to be, is still a reputable source on many matters. They have found children as young as 12 years old working 15 hour shifts in factories making stationary for the Games. Reporters are still censored. Beijing sends money and weapons to support the murderous Bashir regime in Khartoum, feeding the Darfur genocide. But even that is not all.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and the United States Government list China as a "country of particular concern", a designation it has held since 1999. The 2007 report says, "The Chinese government continues to engage in systematic and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief." China claims religious freedom, but in fact, this only exists for those participating in officially registered churches. Protestant house churches and the underground Roman Catholic Church are particular targets of government persecution. China's practice of religious oppression includes arrest and imprisonment without trial, secret trials, "re-education" labor camps and disappearances where officials deny they know the whereabouts of certain missing religious leaders. Local officials have been known to bulldoze churches, arrest the members and force them to pay a fine for their release. One particular Protestant pastor was sentenced to three years labor, along with two assistants receiving lesser sentences because, apparently, their Bible publishing enterprise proved to be too effective.

And, worse still, China's one-child policy continues to include forced abortions. The May 5 issue of World magazine reported on one particularly horrendous case in which a 7 months pregnant woman was dragged into hospital and injected with chemicals to kill her child. She then endured 19 hours of labor in order to deliver her murdered son.

Join us in prayer one minute every day until the Games. I think we should pray the Games collapse and the murderous, black regime in Beijing is exposed to the world for what it is in such a way their evil can no longer be hidden.

One Minute, One Year, One Country
Join the Prayer Countdown to the
Beijing Olympics

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