Release International chief executive, Paul Robinson, has called for Christians to think long and hard about buying Christmas cards manufactured in China. He was quoted by The Telegraph newspaper on Saturday 12th November as a contributor to the debate.
China is an arch-persecutor of Christian believers and a country of particular concern to Release International.
The Telegraph reported that almost half the multi packs of Christmas cards on sale in some of the UK’s largest outlets were produced or printed in China.
Former leader of the Conservative party, Iain Duncan Smith, described China as ‘A country that is locking up peaceful democracy campaigners and cracking down on Christian churches.’
He told The Telegraph: ‘It beggars belief that British companies could be so insensitive at a time of peace and goodwill.’
And Release International CEO Paul Robinson told the paper: ‘During a cost-of-living crisis people want to buy cheap cards for Christmas. But Christmas is about Christ, and we should really think long and hard before buying Christmas cards manufactured in a country which persecutes Christians in appalling ways.’
He added: ‘Purchasing Christmas cards made in China directly funds this cruel anti-Christian regime.’
The Bishop of St. Albans, Alan Smith, said he was planning to introduce a debate in the House of Lords to highlight human rights abuses in China.
In September, Release International reported that China had launched a new crackdown against churches.
The Chinese authorities have been arresting pastors and shutting down congregations aspart of a get-tough policy on religion ordered by President Xi Jinping. His aim is to bring China’s religious minorities under ever-tighter state control.
China’s moves against the church came as the United Nations reported ‘credible evidence’ of torture against the country’s Uyghur minority amounting ‘to crimes against humanity’.
'Think long and hard before buying Chinese Christmas cards,' Paul Robinson, CEO
‘It’s all about control,’ said Paul Robinson. ‘What the Communist Party cannot dominate and control it seeks to eliminate. And it’s getting worse. Our partners tell us that churches in China are facing the toughest persecution since the Cultural Revolution.’
A report by the US State Department says clergy of all faiths are now required to attend political indoctrination sessions and to pledge allegiance to the CCP.
Release International has launched an appeal to help Chinese Christians and others imprisoned for their faith and who have been driven from their homes due to persecution.
More details of the Release International Appeal can be found here
You can read The Telegraph story in full here