Category archives: Human Rights

A New Birth of Religious Freedom in China

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 23, 2011

Earlier this month, a coalition of Christian leaders in China drafted and sent a petition to the Chinese government calling for the religious liberty the Chinese Constitution claims to provide. “For the last six decades, the rights to liberty of religious faith granted to our countrys Christians by the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of China have not been put into practice,” wrote the 19 brave original signatories of the document.

The petition was generated by the growing crackdown on “unofficial” churches in China. As noted in this blog space in April, the Easter crackdown on the Shouwang Church in Beijing is part of a larger, nationwide campaign in which “unofficial” churches —- those that meet independent of government sanction —- are being targeted for repression, and their leaders for arrest.

Up to 70 million believers are part of the “unofficial” Christian movement in China. According to China scholar Dr. William Jeynes in a lecture last week at FRC, the Chinese government is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the construction of officially-recognized churches and seminaries, but the “unofficial” churches remain targets of the central Communist government. Why? Because, notes Jeynes, the government recognizes that Christianity leads to morality and productivity, but is also grounded in the idea that government’s authority is not final. This makes the Communist leaders in Beijing “nervous,” says Jeynes.

In one sense, well it should: Allegiance to Jesus ahead of the state means that authoritarian governments will not have complete control, something for which Beijing’s Party apparatus longs. Yet Christianity, followed faithfully, leads to good order, social stability, and economic growth. This is the clear outgrowth of New Testament faith, and is evidenced wherever Christianity has flourished.

China’s leadership must come to terms with a central paradox: Followers of Jesus have the potential to make the finest citizens, but only if the state does not seek to replace their primary and central loyalty to their Savior with allegiance to itself. Until this happens, the strange dance of Chinese Communism with Christianity eventually will dissolve into a forced march, one that leads to martyrdom and thus, to the greater consternation of the authorities, continued resurgence of “unofficial” faith.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) held an important hearing earlier this month on China’s continued attack on “unregistered” churches and “unofficial” Christians. In his opening remarks, Mr. Smith, long a champion on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide, said:

Because the Chinese government demands that religious organizations serve the aims of the state, religious organizations must receive government approval to operate. Failure to do so means the groups lack legal protection and the membership is vulnerable to human rights abuses at the hands of government officials. However, many religious observers adhere to the tenet that they must render unto Caesar what is Caesars, but unto God what is Gods, and as a result, they are persecuted.

The Chinese Communist Party, in its historic atheistic commitment to exalting itself as God, cannot manipulate those whose knees bend only before King Jesus. Until it realizes this and allows those brave men and women to practice their faith openly, it will enjoy neither the respect of the world nor the benefits religious liberty brings any society.

For up-to-the-minute reports on the crisis of Christian faith in China, go to China Aid or Voice of the Martyrs.

New Video: Sex Trafficking in America: How You Can Protect Your Children

by Carrie Russell

March 24, 2011

How you can protect your children from the dangers of child pornography and sex trafficking. Watch Bob Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD), and Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council to learn more. You can view the rest of the webcast by clicking here.

State of Sex Trafficking In the States

by Family Research Council

March 22, 2011

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly President Bush said:

Each year, an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced across the world’s borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade. This commerce in human life generates billions of dollars each year — much of which is used to finance organized crime. Theres a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable. The victims of sex trade see little of life before they see the very worst of life, an underground of brutality and lonely fear. Those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished. Those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others. And governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating a form of slavery.

This tragic form of slavery is not just a problem over there, in third world countries far removed from us. On the contrary, it is happening right in our own backyard. Despite laws criminalizing it, sex trafficking is a huge problem in America.

In The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Americas Prostituted Children, Shared Hope International affirms that at least 100,000 American children a year are victims of sex trafficking, and that number may be much higher. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) highlights the fact that sex trafficking of children is largely under-reported in their estimate that 1 in 5 girls are sexually abused or assaulted before they become adults and 1 in 10 boys, however less than 35% of those cases are reported. Researchers estimate that 1015 percent of children living on the streets in the United States are trafficked for sexual purposes according to the National Institute of Justice in their report Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: What Do We Know and What Do We Do About It?.

And that question, What do we do about it? must be considered, both on an individual level and a state/federal government level. Legislatively speaking, both the federal government and many state governments have passed laws criminalizing human trafficking, and providing for its punishment (see figure 1 below). However, we are finding that this is not enough. Shared Hope International states:

Victims of domestic minor sex trafficking are frequently processed as juvenile delinquents or adult prostitutes. Prostituted juveniles are trained by their trafficker/pimp to lie to authorities and are provided with excellent fraudulent identification resulting in their registration in the arrest records as an adult… Due to the unique trauma bonding that occurs between a victim and her trafficker, these children often run from juvenile facilities right back to the person that exploited them.

The National Institute of Justice says it is estimated that 96 to 98 percent of victims are in need of basic amenities for survival: food, housing, transportation, etc. In response to this many states have introduced legislative initiatives to promote awareness and support to those brutalized by sex trafficking. The figures below will give you an idea of the state of sex trafficking laws in the states.

For a detailed explanation of each state law check out the Fact Sheet on State Anti-Trafficking Laws from US PACT [Policy Advocacy to Combat Trafficking] a program of the Center for Women Policy Studies.

For assistance or to report a sex trafficking case contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center national hotline at: 1-888-3737-888 or go to the Polaris Project website.

To view a detailed US Department of State summary on human trafficking in the US and other countries click here.

New Video: Stop Sex Trafficking Where It Starts

by Carrie Russell

March 22, 2011

How can we stop sex trafficking where it starts? Pat Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and Founder of PornHarms.com, joins Tony Perkins, President of FRC, to talk about what leads to Sex Trafficking, and how we can take steps to confront the problem at its origin.

You can view the entire webcast by clicking here.

Sex Trafficking in America: from The Boulevard to Planned Parenthood

by FRC Media Office

March 15, 2011

A special live video webcast hosted by Family Research Council brought together leading experts to shed light on a growing problem that affects every corner of our nation — from neighborhoods, playgrounds, and malls to the local Planned Parenthood clinic. During the webcast, learn what actions you can take to help restore these victims, and stop those who prey on them.

Webcast participants:

  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • J. Robert (Bob) Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD)
  • Lila Rose, President, Live Action
  • Pat Trueman, CEO, Morality in Media and Founder, PornHarms.com
  • Samantha Vardeman, Senior Director, Shared Hope International
  • Tina Frundt, Founder and Executive Director, Courtney’s House
  • Lisa Thompson, Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at The Salvation Army

Planned Parenthood Prayer Vigil

by Carrie Russell

February 17, 2011

On Valentines Day 2011 pro life advocates united across the country to pray for victims of sex trafficking. The vigil was organized as a response to the recent release of videos connecting two very dark industries: abortion and sex trafficking.

From Washington DC to Orange County, CA, people took time from work to ask God to bring hope and healing and light into the lives of the victims of this most heinous crime.

Abortion and sex-trafficking are sinister and they rob people of their inherent dignity. But God is about truth, life, light, beauty, freedom and recognizing the dignity of the human person. He is all powerful and He hears our prayers, especially where groups are united. Lets join together to continue to pray that God will bring light and healing into even these darkest of situations.

A Twisted Philanthropy

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 15, 2010

Joan Hinton was not a household name, but her work on the Manhattan project was historic. After earning her Ph.D. in physics in only two years, she was hand-picked to become a researcher on one of America’s most stunning technological achievements - the development and production of an atomic bomb.

Then she had an attack of conscience. In her obituary in today’s New York Times, she is quoted as telling National Public Radio, I did not want to spend my life figuring out how to kill people … I wanted to figure out how to let people have a better life, not a worse life.

So, she became a philanthropist who devoted her life to finding the cure to diseases. Well, not quite: Dr. Hinton moved to China and became a devoted Maoist Communist. I’m not making this up.

According to the Times, “For the past 40 years, she worked on a dairy farm and an agricultural station outside Beijing, tending a herd of about 200 cows.”

Did she regret her choice? Not in the least. The Times goes on to quote an interview she gave in 2008 to The Weekend Australian: “It would have been terrific if Mao had lived … Of course I was 100 percent behind everything that happened in the Cultural Revolution it was a terrific experience.”

Just how “terrific?” Minimally one million people died during the Cultural Revolution due to persecution by the infamous Red Guards. Religious persecution was intense, and the families of “running dogs” (Chinese whose devotion to Communism was deemed insufficient) were brutalized; there are even reports of the cannibalism of young children by some Red Guards.

In total, roughly 30 million Chinese (possibly as many as 70 million) died under Mao’s reign from enforced starvation or outright murder.

Through it all, American born Dr. Hinton remained a devotee of Chairman Mao. In an interview with NBC News in 2004, journalist Catherine Rampell wrote that “Hinton gushes fervent praise for the Cultural Revolution, Maos mass mobilization of Chinese youth to criticize party officials, intellectuals and bourgeois values, from 1966 to 1976.” Dr. Hinton even used archaic and ludicrous Maoist language to denounce the “renegades” and “capitalist roaders” - code terms for freedom-lovers who would not fully bend the knee to Beijing’s dictators.

Dr. Hinton now faces the Judge of all the earth, not the beatific images of Mao Zedong with which she festooned her apartment. How sad. How very sad.

FRC Statement on H. Res. 1064

by JP Duffy

June 4, 2010

Inaccurate internet reports have been circulating indicating that the Family Research Council lobbied “against” a congressional resolution condemning a bill proposed in Uganda. The Uganda bill would have provided for the death penalty for something called “aggravated homosexuality.” Unfortunately, those spreading these false rumors deliberately failed to obtain the facts first.

FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution. FRC’s efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.

FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality—nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological, and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.

Trafficking and Prostitution of Children in the United States

by Family Research Council

May 19, 2010

Television anchor Dan Rather had an interesting piece in the Huffington Post yesterday drawing much needed attention to the growing problem of child trafficking and prostitution in the United States. He writes that throughout his 60 years of reporting, few stories have been more shocking:

How many children are being peddled on the streets of Portland and in other cities and towns, to say nothing of the Internet?…The most conservative estimates are that at least 10,000 American children are being victimized. Many experts say they believe it’s closer to 30,000 or more.

Rather talks with law enforcement to learn how it could be possible that so many young people are exploited in such an atrocious way.

… many of the children caught up in this are middle class kids from the area…The girls, sometimes as young as 12, often 13-16, are lured by a “front man” in his mid-to-late teens. He becomes her “boyfriend,” taking her to dinner, buying her nice things, sometimes meeting her parents. The girl eventually moves in with him. Then he says they need money to continue being together. First, she’s enticed to sleep with his friends to pay the rent. Soon she’s turning tricks for what police say is an endless supply of older men willing to pay top money for sex with very young girls. Other times convincing the young adolescent girls to sell themselves happens very quickly.

The Anti-Trafficking of Human Persons division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describe the various ways that children in the U.S. are exploited:

In the United States, children are subjected to human trafficking in many different sectors. Examples include prostitution on the streets or in a private residence, club, hotel, spa, or massage parlor; online commercial sexual exploitation; exotic dancing/stripping; agricultural, factory, or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor in a home; restaurant/bar work; illegal drug trade; door-to-door sales, street peddling, or begging; or hair, nail, and beauty salons. Family members, acquaintances, pimps, employers, smugglers, and strangers traffic children. They often prey upon the childrens vulnerabilities their hopes for an education, a job, or a better life in another country and may use psychological intimidation or violence to control the children and gain financial benefits from their exploitation. Trafficked children may show signs of shame or disorientation; be hungry and malnourished; experience traumatic bonding (Stockholm syndrome) and fear government officials, such as police and immigration officers.

This same US government division provides numerous resources for people who might be victim to these crimes. One such resource is a 24-hour hotline that helps victims of trafficking by connecting them with local organizations that can provide help. The number is 1.888.3737.888. See the HHS website for more information on how to assist someone who could be a victim of trafficking or to learn more about this problem.

I am grateful to Dan Rather bringing this dark issue into the media light. Unfortunately, as pointed out by one commenter, the ad for Rathers story on the network’s website was ironically placed below another ad one with young girls in bikinis — for “Girls Gone Wild.” If nothing else, we can all agree that there is a deep need to continue to fight against the oversexualization of young girls and the many atrocious crimes that can accompany such objectification.

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