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Tags: biden | deportation | ukraine | border

As Refugees Flood Into US, Chinese Christians Told to Wait

chinese catholic church

By    |   Wednesday, 01 February 2023 02:55 PM EST

Sixty-four Chinese Christians who fled religious persecution in 2019 and have been living in Thailand waiting for the U.S. government to grant them emergency asylum are facing deportation as the Biden administration continues to prioritize resettling people fleeing Ukraine and Afghanistan, Real Clear Politics reported.

Human rights and religious freedom advocates are pressing lawmakers to help members of Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church relocate to East Texas with the help of area churches after the Thai government refused to renew their tourist visas.

"The consistent documented harassment, the threat of repatriation back to China, and the sponsorship of local communities point to Texas resettlement as the best option to offer refuge for the church members," human rights organization 21Wilberforce wrote in a letter to GOP Reps. Kay Granger and Michael McCaul of Texas.

Pastor Pan Yongguang in September said the persecution in China is "growing worse."

Ministering in China was never easy, Pan told the Associated Press. Since starting the church in 2012, it has had to move from house to house as authorities ordered landlords to turn away members.

Police kept close track of church gatherings, recording attendees and sometimes hauling in Pan for questioning. The questions grew sharper after they discovered he was ordained into the Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, sharper still after new religious regulations in 2018. Police homed in on his ties overseas.

Bob Fu, founder of ChinaAid, a Christian group helping Pan, cited tightening controls on religion under Chinese leader Xi Jinping aimed at rooting out foreign influence and bolstering national security.

"What national security threat?" Fu said. "They're not going to public squares; they're not trying to shame the Chinese government. They're just trying to seek religious freedom."

The U.S. in 2022 processed just over 25,000 refugees, one-fifth of the 125,000 available spots, as it deals with a backlog.

The State Department last week announced a new program to increase private sponsorship and resettlement for all refugees, saying it would aim to resettle 125,000 refugees from global hot spots into the U.S. each year, but each refugee must have UNHCR status, and at least five private sponsors must show they have funds to underwrite applicants' living costs for at least a year.

Fu says that doesn't make sense considering the U.S.-Mexico border crisis.

"The [U.S.] allows 250,000 illegal immigrants to cross the border each month, getting an iPhone, living in a [high-priced] hotel in New York City, they get all the social welfare benefits – everything," Fu said. "And these law-abiding Chinese Christians are still being blocked, prevented from being accepted?"

Solange Reyner

Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Sixty-four Chinese Christians who fled religious persecution in 2019 and have been living in Thailand waiting for the U.S. government to grant them emergency asylum are facing deportation, Real Clear Politics reported.
biden, deportation, ukraine, border
Wednesday, 01 February 2023 02:55 PM
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