am grateful to Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk for interviewing me about our
work “Saving Women in China.” The
conversation was so rich that one interview became two. This first interview is very personal, in
which we speak about my faith journey from being an atheist to faithful
Christian. I speak about, as an
attorney, how my first asylum client was forcibly sterilized in China —
without anesthetic! – and about how a serious illness that left me disabled for
years was the key to turning me from a materialistic life as a litigator to
using all those legal skills to advocate on behalf of the women and babies of
China. Click HERE to listen to a powerful interview!
One of many widows helped by our “Save a Widow” campaign
A Catholic widow in Fuzhou city, Jiangxi province, has had her pension revoked because she refused to renounce her faith.
to a report in Bitter Winter, the
elderly woman had been receiving a small subsidy since her husband died in
2018. At the end of 2019, local officials threatened that her subsidy
would be stopped unless she would remove images of Jesus from her home.
“Because the Communist Party feeds you, you must only believe in it, not God,”
they told her. When she refused to remove the images of Jesus, they
canceled her subsidy. “It has become difficult to maintain belief in God
because of religious persecution,” she told Bitter
Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “It is
a heartbreak and an outrage that widows and other elderly are forced to
renounce their faith in order to receive stipends. For many, they may
need these funds to survive. It a
pathetic act of cowardice to force desperate widows to choose between their
survival and their God. This widow, who refused to renounce her
faith potentially in the face of abject poverty, is heroic.
of religious persecution,” Littlejohn continued, “is on the rise in the area of
China where we have our Save a Widow Campaign.
I was just informed that in our area, a government official has instructed our
widows to stay home on Sundays and not to go to church. He also ridiculed
Jesus, saying, ‘The Chinese government gives you 160 RMB (about $23). How
much money does Jesus Christ give you?’
for the widows in our area, they have a ready answer,” Littlejohn added.
“Our fieldworkers bring love and compassion to widows, along with practical
help: a $25 monthly stipend that makes a huge difference in their lives,
providing food and warmth. Our fieldworkers encourage these widows in
their faith, and many have found new hope that there is a God who loves them.”
has a skyrocketing rate of senior suicide. The One Child Policy has destroyed
the family structure in China. In the past, the Chinese enjoyed large families
and it was not a burden for children and grandchildren to support the elderly.
Now many elderly are completely abandoned and destitute, especially elderly
widows. And the sad solution for many is to end their lives. “We are
extending a lifeline to abandoned widows, who are eternally grateful for the
help,” Littlejohn said.
watch our powerful “Save a Widow” video, click HERE.
To learn more about the Save a Widow Campaign,
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is helping desperate widows in China. Our fieldworkers visits them every month to let them know that we care for then, even if everyone else has abandoned them. With our help, they knows they are loved. With the $25 a month we give them, they have the funds to eat better and perhaps can heat her little room in the winter.
Last Wednesday, President Trump signed into law the Uyghur
Human Rights Policy Act. The Uyghurs
(pronounced WEE-gurs) are an ethnic and religious minority living in the East
Turkistan (referred to as Xinjiang) area of China. Credible reports have emerged that the
Chinese Communist Party has been committing egregious human rights atrocities against
the Uyghurs: detaining one to three
million in internment camps, raping and forcibly sterilizing women, forcing
women to marry Han Chinese men, subjecting men and women to intense religious
persecution. The Act received overwhelming
bi-partisan support. Read this article
for my further comments:
I was honored to be among the speakers at the June 4 Rally on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol in 2019. There will be no Rally in DC this year, because of the coronavirus. More important, for the first time in 30 years, the Chinese Communist Party will not allow the annual June 4 candlelight vigil in Hong Kong. Chinese Government sources say that they are concerned about the spread of the coronavirus. Critics say that the Chinese government is using the pandemic as an excuse to stop the vigil.
Below is the link to my speech, which is
equally true this year as it was last year. I said that the Chinese
Communist Party is still brutally crushing innocent people, through the One
Child, now Two Child Policy. The CCP is the greatest mass murderer in the
history of the world!
And now, they are crushing dissent in Hong Kong as well. Could Hong Kong become another Tiananmen? I hope and pray that it will not. If, however, the Chinese Communist Party feels that it is fighting for its survival, there is no telling what it might do. A top Chinese general recently threatened that China will attack Taiwan to stop independence. If this brutal regime is willing to attack Taiwan to stop independence, why would we imagine that it would not be willing to do so to Hong Kong?
To President Trump, the United States Congress and the
A peaceful and prosperous Hong Kong poses an existential
threat to the Chinese Communist Party’s narrative that Chinese people cannot
thrive under freedom and democracy. The
CCP has circumvented the rule of law by issuing a National Security Law that
would crush all dissent in Hong Kong.
We call upon President Trump, the United States Congress, the
United Nations, and governments of free nations all over the world, to set aside
all political differences and continue to take bold action to hold China
accountable for its hubris. We commend President Trump’s promise to end
Hong Kong’s trading privileges, as well as the joint statement issued by the
governments of the United States, UK, Australia and Canada, condemning China’s
violation of the “one country, two systems” policy promised in the 1997
transfer of power from British to Chinese rule.
When Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to China in 1997,
China agreed to afford Hong Kong protection of a “high degree of autonomy” in
government, law and finances for 50 years, until 2047. Abrogating this autonomy, the National
People’s Congress (NPC) has passed a law bypassing Hong Kong’s own Legislative
Council. The CCP-owned China Daily stated that the new law is intended to “prevent,
frustrate and punish any secessionist or subversive activity, the organizing of
terrorist acts, and other acts that seriously threaten national security as
well as activities of foreign and external interference in Hong Kong.” Indeed, according to a top CCP official
quoted in China Daily, its intent is
merely “to protect Hong Kong residents from the criminal acts of a small number
In practice, however, this law can be used to crush free
speech, criticism, protest and dissent. Countless Chinese dissidents have been jailed
on groundless charges of “subversion,” including Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu
Xiaobo, who in 2009 was sentenced to 11 years in prison for calling for
democratic reform. He died while serving
his sentence. Hong Kong activists rightly fear that this new law will render
dissent, or even political discourse, a criminal offense. It represents the end of “one country, two
Equally worrisome, the new law implies that security forces from
mainland China, such as the Ministry of State Security, will be set up in
Hong Kong. According to a second article in China Daily, “The NPC draft decision has also stipulated that organs of
national security of the central government will set up agencies in Hong Kong,
whose operation will be according to law.” The people of Hong Kong mounted
massive protests to prevent extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China. Now, the dreaded national security apparatus
of mainland China will take residence in Hong Kong.
We stand with the people of Hong Kong, who have suffered so
terribly in their struggle to maintain the autonomy promised them. We commend the actions the U.S. government has
already taken to disengage economically from the PRC, including the May 27
declaration that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous, and President Trump’s
announcement that the US will end Hong Kong’s trade privileges. These tragic
actions should be blamed on the CCP, whose shameless maneuvers and raw power
grabs have brought us to this point.
The global community needs to protect international security
and economic interests. On the table
should be various economic and financial sanctions, such as those recommended
by the Committee on the Present Danger: China. In addition, we need to hold individuals
accountable through the Global Magnitsky Act.
We also need to increase our commitment to the people of
Taiwan, especially in light of the ominous statement by a top Chinese general
will attack Taiwan to stop independence.
Hong Kong now, Taiwan next?
is opening its arms to Hong Kong citizens who want to resettle in the face
of the tightening grip of the CCP. We
call upon the United States and governments the world over to do the same.
While our two organizations advocate for women’s rights, we
note that half of the people of Hong Kong are female, including many brave
protesters. Our organizations will, as
always, do our part to assist women and children persecuted by China’s
Keai Was Saved from Abortion by our Save a Girl Campaign
As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child, girl babies in China are still at risk, due to deadly son preference. According to one U.N. estimate, up to 200 million girls are missing in the world today, victims of gendercide. Will you help us save baby girls in China – girls like Keai? Keai is alive today because our “Save a Girl” campaign saved her from abortion. She is the first child in her family. Usually the first child is welcomed and loved. But in Keai ’s family the situation was very different. Her great-grandmother passed away last year from cancer. Medical care used up the family’s savings. Then her great-grandfather got sick, and so did her paternal grandparents. All this illness placed a huge financial burden on Keai’s parents.
When Keai ’s mom got pregnant, her husband and in-laws all felt that it was not a good time for a child. They put great pressure on Keai ’s mom to abort. This was a nightmare for Keai ’s mom, because she was determined to give birth. Keai’s mother hoped that Keai would be a boy, so that her father and in-laws would accept her. Luckily for both Keai and her mom, a fieldworker from WRWF heard about this situation and came to their door with a message of hope. “Girls are as good as boys,” she said, and she offered monthly support for a year for Keai ’s mom to bring Keai to birth. Keai ’s life was saved, and her mom was so happy that she named her new daughter “Keai” which means “loved.” She said: “My daughter is loved by someone in a far-away land, even if she is not loved by her own family.”
Will you help us save women and
girls in China? Become a “GirlSaver”!
help us save more girls like Keai? We have saved hundreds of girls,
and yet there are millions more who are being aborted or abandoned just because
they are girls. Some baby girls are born to families so poor that their
health is at risk. Each one of these girls is infinitely precious.
Please help us save them by donating to our “Save a Girl” Campaign.
You can give
a one-time donation in any amount. Or $25 per month, or $300 per year,
our GirlSavers have helped WRWF save at-risk babies in China, babies like Keai,
who would likely not be alive if one of our undercover fieldworkers had not met
her mother and assured her that little girls are as special as boys. We put our
money where our mouth is, offering practical assistance to empower these
mothers to keep their daughters.
This week, the Chinese Communist Party commemorates 70 years of brutal, totalitarian repression of the suffering people of China. It is fitting that the CCP has celebrated its big day October 1 with a massive military display, including the unveiling of the “Dongfeng-17,” a new, hypersonic nuclear missile believed to be capable of evading the anti-missile defenses of the U.S. and its allies and to reach U.S. targets within 30 minutes.
The DF-17 weapon of mass destruction is consistent with the CCP’s unique status. In my opinion, the Chinese Communist Party is the greatest mass murderer in human history.
400 million have been “prevented” through the One Child forced abortion and involuntary sterilization policy – each one a victim of communism. In addition, tens of millions died in the Great Leap Forward, the Great Famine, and the Cultural Revolution. Add to this the ongoing execution of countless prisoners of conscience – including Uyghur Muslims and Falun Gong practitioners — to harvest their organs for transplant, and the decimation of the Tibetan Buddhists, hundreds of whom have resorted to self-immolation to draw international attention to their plight.
The list continues with the brutal persecution of human rights lawyers and other freedom fighters, the turning a blind eye to human trafficking and sexual slavery, the construction of a truly Orwellian surveillance state, an economy based on illegal slave labor and the theft of intellectual property. And let us never forget the thousands of unarmed student pro-democracy protestors massacred on Tiananmen Square.
The CCP seems locked in a race with North Korea for its place at the bottom of the human rights cesspool. It leaves people and governments of conscience little choice but to resist with all our economic and moral might.
Reading the most recent Congressional-Executive Commission on China reporton the current state of human rights in China is like reading an indictment. As China’s economy has grown, so has its notorious disregard of human rights:
* More than 1 million Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic minorities are currently in “Political reeducation” concentration camps.
*China exerts complete control and censorship of the media, jailing journalists who dare to tell the truth.
*Xi Jinping has been consolidating his personal power. He essentially declared himself King, abolishing term limits so that he will remain President of China for life.
*Underground Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, have undergone a tremendous persecution, with churches bulldozed, crosses torn down, pastors and priests jailed. In April, 2016, in Henan province, a pastor’s wife, trying to protect her church from being bulldozed, was buried alive by the bulldozer. She has become a symbol of persecution in China.
* The coercive enforcement of their population control policies is China’s war against women. The CCP has functioned as “womb police,” declaring life or death over every pregnancy in the land. This coercion, begun under the One Child Policy, has continued under the Two Child Policy.
This is the hallmark of Communist regimes – the peacetime killing of their own citizens.
The two-child policy has not stopped this slaughter. The new rule is that every coupleis allowed to have two children. Therefore, it is still illegal for single women to have babies in China, and third children are still illegal.
Girls are still selectively aborted, especially second daughters.
And senior suicide has skyrocketed 500 percent in the past 20 years, because the One Child Policy has destroyed the family structure in China. Elderly widows are abandoned, destitute, and at risk of suicide.
Gender imbalance exacerbated by the One Child Policy is driving human trafficking and sexual slavery. In its June 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, the State Department listed China as a “Tier 3” nation, one of the worst offenders in the world. Does the CCP refuse to crack down on the trafficking of women because doing so could cause an insurrection of the 37 million men who will never find wives?
What should we do?
The fact that China is a sovereign nation and we cannot unilaterally effectuate change within its borders should not cause us to throw up our hands and do nothing. We should do what we can.
* We should utilize the Global Magnitsky Act, which authorizes the U.S. government to sanction human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the U.S. The Global Magnitsky Act should be used not only for family planning officials, but for all gross human rights offenders, who should be held publicly accountable. Let all that has been hidden in darkness be brought to light.
* The U.S. government should remain tough in the trade war with China. Appeasement diplomacy has never worked with China.
* Regarding the rights of women and girls, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is the only organization in the world that has boots on the ground tosaving babies from sex-selective abortion through our “Save a Girl” Campaign. We are also saving destitute and abandoned widows through our “Save a Widow” Campaign.
With 1.4 billion people, China holds almost one fifth of the population of the world. One in five people is suffering under the boot of this brutal, totalitarian regime. The world will not be free until the people of China are free.
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October 1, 2019 marks the 70thanniversary of the brutal, Communist takeover of China.
Friday night, I received an anguished phone call, begging me to write about the state of the Christian Church in China. The caller (whose name or location I cannot divulge for her protection) was an attorney in China who had worked within Chinese court system. When she became a Christian, however, she realized that she could not compromise her faith and join the officially atheistic Communist Party, as all judges are expected to do in China.
She explained that three major house churches in her city are facing persecution in Guangdong (Canton) Province. One was forced to register with the Chinese government, and accept the heavy risk of surveillance. The other two, who refused to register, are no longer allowed to gather together to worship. They have been disbanded. She pleaded with me to write about the persecution of House Church Christians in China, specifically in Guangdong.
As I listened to this impassioned and heartbreaking account, I thought of the Christians in the catacombs in ancient Rome. The Christians in China are being driven into the catacombs. The Chinese dictatorship wants to persecute them in the dark. Thanks to the brave woman who called me Friday night, we are shining a light on the ugly truth of what is happening to religious believers in China.
The illusion that the Chinese government is our benevolent friend needs to be broken. The Chinese Communist Party is a brutal, totalitarian regime. Appeasement diplomacy has not worked. All governments of conscience need to stand strong against the hideous human rights atrocities of this pernicious regime.
I promised to publish her account, in her own words:
Reggie, please tell the world about the terrible suffering of Christians in China. There has been a harsh revision of the regulations regarding religions in China and the Chinese government has since tightened up its controls in all religions, including Christians.
Foreigners look at Shanghai and are impressed with the wealth and apparent modernity of China. But they don’t see the terrible atrocities committed in the “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, among the Uyghur Muslims. And they don’t see how the Christians are being persecuted as well.
As an attorney in China, I worked closely in the Court system. The Chinese court system is not an independent branch of the government, like the American court system. There is no separation of powers in China. The Chinese courts are controlled by the government. They are designed to execute national policy, not justice.
In the courts, I was told that Christianity was the “opium of the people,” designed to pollute Chinese minds and overturn the communist government. The Chinese government and its court system regard Christianity as a threat, an enemy, because communism is atheistic, and they believe that Christianity will make the country unstable. They want Christianity to stay small.
This is true of all religions. The CCP also heavily persecutes Tibetan Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, and Falun Gong practitioners. Anyone who worships a divine being is the enemy of the Chinese Communist Party.
When the CCP arrests a pastor, the criminal charge is that he is a “traitor” who is “threatening national security.” These pastors have no right to legal representation. If they have someone brave enough to be their lawyer, the pastor can be beaten up before seeing that lawyer. And their attorney can be beaten as well.
Though some are real Christians, many pastors of the official, registered churches are not believers. They are government workers, paid by the government. This is one reason that many Christians choose not to go to the Three-Self, officially registered Churches.
“Three-Self” is a characteristically Chinese way of abbreviating “self-governance, self-support, self-propagation.” For example, Catholic believers in China are not allowed to accept the leadership of Pope. Chinese churches can have no relationships with churches outside of China. They cannot receive foreign funding, teaching or leadership.
There are two, huge changes in the law regarding religious practice in China.
First, the new law greatly expands the government departments who can persecute religious believers. Under the previous law, only the Religious Affairs Bureau would enforce religious restrictions. Under the new law, every layer of government can regulate religious affairs. The fact that there are so many more officials cracking down on unregistered churches puts tremendous pressure on the members of those churches. As part of President Xi’s crackdown, Chinese Christians are facing the most persecutions since the Culture Revolution in the 1960’s.
I know of an incident in which some Chinese Christian missionaries went to a Christian conference. This was November 2018, in Thailand. Chinese communist spies also went to this conference and secretly recorded the attendees. Many of the missionaries were arrested upon their return to China.
Friends of mine were watching a documentary regarding Tiananmen Square in their own living room in Shenzhen, a city in Guangdong province. They were arrested and remain under surveillance.
Second, the new law makes informal gatherings clearly illegal. The churches have no freedom of assembly. If a group of believers gathers to pray, and they are not registered, the new law makes this gathering strictly forbidden. Before, such gatherings were strongly discouraged, but not technically illegal.
Under this new law, the house churches in my area have been forced to make an impossible choice. Either they must dissolve, if they refuse to register; or, they must register with the government. Those who register are concerned about surveillance of the church and its members. In addition, their sermons and teachings will be monitored. Believers are also worried that the church’s tithes and offerings could be confiscated by the government, and that their land lines may be monitored by the Chinese equivalent of the CIA.
Being the member of a house church in China is dangerous. Most of the members of underground churches in my area are young. Today, I would not have the freedom to be a Christian in China. If I were to lead a women’s prayer meeting in my own living room, I could get arrested and face criminal charges as well as a heavy fine. I could be jailed, tortured and killed before trial. If I made it to trial, the trial would not be fair, because the purpose of the court system is to advance national policy, such as to keep Christianity from spreading.
In a remote area, cadres took down religious images and replaced them with pictures of Xi Jinping. The Chinese Communist Party does not want you to believe in God, but in the Party. Xi Jinping is like Chairman Mao, centralizing power into his own hands. He has changed the Chinese constitution to remove term limits. He will be dictator for life!
Some brave underground churches continue to meet secretly. They have to sing their hymns very quietly to avoid detection. Many churches, once discovered, are kicked out by the landlord and have to move from place to place every week.
The Chinese government does not like evangelists. I know a traveling preacher who disappeared in 2004-5.
The China/Vatican deal has been a terrible thing for Chinese Catholics. Perhaps the Vatican does not know how Catholics have been jailed and tortured for their faith. The Chinese government has been inhumane to religious believers, including Catholics.
Reggie, please tell the world about the suffering of Christians in China. They are discouraged and afraid. Can you help us? Can you pray for us?
Related Links (analyzing the China’s new laws governing religion)
The New Religious Affairs Regulations Came into Fore in 2018: What Exactly Happened?
Chinese Law and Religion Monitor (January to June, 2018)
“Mrs. Wang” is a ninety-two year old widow. Her husband passed away fifty-four years ago. Her feet were bound when she was a child, and she suffers from various illnesses, so she cannot walk well.
Mrs. Wang raised four children. Her two daughters married and moved away. She feels that they don’t want to be close to her, because she is so needy and can never give them anything back in return. Her first son died. Her second son has a disabling condition known as fibroplasia.
Although they don’t have much to eat, Mrs. Wang says she is happy that she is still alive, to cook for her second son, who lives with her. She cannot imagine how her son will be able to live without her when she passes away. She appreciates the encouragement and financial help from our “Save a Widow” Campaign, and is amazed that people from the other side of the earth would come to help her, not asking for anything in return.
This week marks the 39thanniversary of China’s One-Child (now Two-Child) Policy, the most massive social experiment in human history, responsible for hundreds of millions of forced abortions and sterilizations. Forced abortion continues under the Two-Child Policy, as third children remain illegal. A woman from Xinjiang, for example, was forcibly aborted of her third child in 2018, according to an NPR report.
Coercive population control in China has also led to the sex-selective abortion of tens of millions of baby girls. These statistics are as well known as they are tragic.
Relatively unknown, however, is another enormous demographic group virtually ignored thus far: the elderly, especially widows. To address this, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers launched our Save a Widow Campaign.
China’s current elderly population is 241 million, 17.3 % of the nation’s total population, and rising. China’s elderly population is set to peak at nearly half a billion, or 35% of the total population, in 2050.
Sadly, senior suicide is on the rise. According to a report in the China Daily — a Chinese government–affiliated English language news outlet — the suicide rate of rural Chinese elderly has increased 500% in the past two decades, from 100 to 500 per 100,000. An abstract in The Lancet stated, “ On average, mortality from suicide in Chinese people aged 65-85 was 2.75-7.08 times that of the general population.” According to sociologist Liu Yanwu, who studied the issue for six years, “. . . I was more shocked by the lack of concern in villages where the elderly commit suicide . . . It seems that death is nothing to fear, and suicide is a normal, even a happy end.”
In the past, elders were venerated and cared for by their children and grandchildren. “Filial piety was valued in old China, but many elderly people in rural areas can no longer depend on their children as a result of the great economic and social changes over the past three decades,” continues Liu, “and the pension system fails to compensate . . . In China, farmers are vulnerable, and old farmers are the most vulnerable.”
Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “the studies show that the elderly, especially elderly widows who traditionally have depended on their children to support them in old age, are becoming destitute and so desperate that they are committing suicide. They are the invisible victims of the demographic disaster caused by the One Child Policy and are in urgent need of help. For this reason, we launched our Save a Widow Campaign. We have boots on the ground inside of China, restoring the dignity and giving practical support to abandoned, destitute widows in China to show them someone cares.
“One of the widows we are helping is Mrs. Wang, whose story is recounted at the beginning of this article. Our fieldworker went to her door and encouraged her, saying that we will give her a monthly stipend to help her and her son eat, and to give them dignity and hope.”
To learn more about the Save a Widow Campaign, click here.
To learn more about the Save a Girl Campaign, click here.
Injury and Suicide in People Aged 60 years and over in China, An Analysis of Nationwide Data
“Genji” is an eighty year old widow, and virtually blind. She has lost her husband and her son, both to prostate cancer. Today, she is in pain and entirely alone.
Genji’s husband passed away fifteen years ago from prostate cancer. She remembers how her husband used to wake up often in the night to use the bathroom. She asked her husband to go see the doctor, but he comforted her saying said his incontinence was just because he was an old man. She knew the real reason he did not want to see the doctor is that they did have not enough money. When he finally went to see the doctor, he was in the terminal stages of cancer. She couldn’t hold her grief inside and cried loudly during the funeral. She said her husband worked so hard every day of his life. He didn’t even have one day to enjoy a happy life since they were always suffering financially.
Genji had one son. Even though her daughter-in-law didn’t get along with Genji, her son would sometimes give her a little food and pocket money secretly. She couldn’t believe that her son died with prostate cancer six years ago, just like his father.
Because of cataracts, Genjui has almost lost her vision. She also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis.
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is helping Genji. Our fieldworker visits her every month to let her know that we care for her, even if everyone else has abandoned her. With our help, she knows she is loved. With the $25 a month we give her, she has the funds to eat better and heat her little room in the winter.
Won’t you help abandoned widows in China?
Watch our new “Save a Widow” video.
To learn more about the Save a Widow Campaign, click here.