Christians Fleeing Persecution in China Arrive in Texas for Easter

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A group of more than 60 fleeing Christians have arrived safely in the United States after escaping severe religious persecution in communist China, according to a U.S. lawmaker.

The refugees are members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, also known as the “Mayflower Church.” They fled China in 2019 and traveled to Thailand in August 2022 from South Korea’s Jeju Island, where they had stayed during their journey to escape religious persecution.

Christianity and other faith-based groups in China are seen as an ideological threat to the atheistic Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and face persecution, torture, and other serious harm.

“After years of fleeing persecution suffered at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, these men and women of great faith can finally enjoy religious freedom in America,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in a statement.

Smith, who chairs the Congressional-Executive Commission on China as well as the House Foreign Affairs global human rights subcommittee, announced the news on April 7, a special day in the Christian calendar known as Good Friday.

Good Friday, which occurs during the holiday of Easter, also known as Pascha, marks one of the most important events in the Christian faith, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucified, died, and was buried.

“It is a very Good Friday indeed, and a perfect Easter gift to see these persecuted Chinese Christians arrive and be allowed to practice their faith freely in the United States,” said Smith.

Smith, who has advocated for the group over the past several years, believes that had they been forcibly repatriated to China, they would have been jailed and severely persecuted. He engaged with government officials and advocates from South Korea to help prevent possible refoulement to China.

After news broke last week that the Chinese Christians were detained in Thailand, Smith also engaged Thai government officials to help ensure the group was not repatriated to China as the result of suspected pressure from CCP agents.

By Caden Pearson

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