U.S. Christian Protesters Detained, Pro-Tibet Activists Deported

Three American Christian activists calling for greater religious freedom in China were kneeling to conduct a prayer vigil in Tiananmen Square earlier today when plainclothes security guards dragged them off their knees and took them away.

Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, was able to speak to a small group of reporters before he was apprehended. "We have come here today to speak out against the human rights abuses of the Chinese government," he said, according to Reuters.

The group had briefly protested on Wednesday in the same place but were stopped by police when they held up a yellow banner that said "Jesus Christ is king" in English and Mandarin and asked to leave the square.

Meanwhile, the four foreign activists who unfurled giant Tibetan flags outside the Olympic Stadium yesterday were deported from China and are scheduled to arrive at home today, according to a statement released by Students for a Free Tibet.

In the first major protest in the weeks leading up to the games, the protestors--two Americans and two British citizens--scaled an electricity pole outside the sports venue before Chinese security personnel apprehended them.

Phill Bartell from Denver and Tirian Mink from Portland were sent to San Francisco while Iain Thom and Lucy Marion were deported to Frankfurt and were expected to continue back home to London.

"We took this peaceful action in Beijing yesterday to shine a spotlight on the Chinese government's lethal military crackdown inside Tibet and its attempt to use the Beijing Olympics to cover up its human rights abuses there," Bartell said.

The Chinese government has been aggressively trying to keep people it believes are troublemakers from entering the country during the games. It has tightened visa policies and has been scrutinizing people who enter the country and are suspected of being critical of China.

In recent days, however, several small clashes have broken out in prominent parts of Beijing.

--Ariana Eunjung Cha

August 7, 2008; 5:47 AM ET  | Category:  Postmark Beijing
Previous: Chinese Press: It's Fog, not Smog | Next: Tiananmen Square Today

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I don't think that china needs the likes of pat robertson, or jerry falwell to tell them how to run their community.

as it says in the bible; remove the log from your own eye first so you can more clearly see the speck in your neighbour's.

Posted by: otiwa ogede | August 7, 2008 6:55 AM

Expecting this country to respect religion is just stupid. Buying more of their crap at Wal-Mart isn't going to fix the situation either.

Posted by: Nym | August 7, 2008 6:55 AM

'Songs for Tibet' Rockets to #1 Spot on iTunes Across the World
Album From Sting, Alanis Morissette, Moby, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Imogen Heap & More Becomes a Massive Show of Support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama; Press Conference, New York, August 7, 2008

"With the Beijing Olympics just days away, this album sends a clear statement to Tibet and the Dalai Lama that the world is with them and supports their dreams for fundamental human rights and autonomy," said Executive Director of The Art of Peace Foundation, Michael Wohl.

"Not only is the album a musical powerhouse, but we hope it will raise awareness of the lack of fundamental freedoms for all under Chinese rule, including the Tibetans," Wohl continued. Among other things, it specifically targets the lack of freedom of press, speech and expression imposed by 'The Great Firewall of China.'

The Foundation also initiated a campaign to provide free downloads of the album to Olympic athletes and urged them to wear iPods at the Olympics as a show of support for the freedom of expression.

A video for the project by Mark Pellington titled "Songs for Tibet - Freedom is Expression" will be on YouTube, and is available for websites and broadcast use.

Posted by: Rubiconski | August 7, 2008 7:34 AM

Can you imagine if they werent Christians but Muslims protesting for the way Muslims Chinese from Turkmenstan origin are being treated, what would have hapenned to them!

The Chinese Propaganda Machinery:
In our fight against War on Teror, we come across Muslims Extremist Activists and we will assure you they will be dealt with harshly in the name of War on Terror!!!!

Posted by: Nouri | August 7, 2008 8:13 AM

Let the waterboarding begin! I mean if Bush says it's acceptable here maybe he can teach them while he's there and replace that nasty old human rights abuser the Chinese water torture...

Posted by: Sparky | August 7, 2008 9:03 AM

Good. Keep these Christians in China.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 7, 2008 9:03 AM

Good. Keep these Christians in China.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 7, 2008 9:04 AM

Christians protesting for "religious freedom" in China? Translation:

"Christians upset because they don't have free reign to run the Chinese countryside converting all the heathens to Christians."

The LAST thing Christians want is "freedom". I agree - keep these three in China. That's three less we have to deal with.

Posted by: rightwingreligiousnutcase | August 7, 2008 9:28 AM

I agree with Sparky, those Xtian enemy combatants more than likely have information that can be extracted with enhanced interrogation techniques at China's offshore gulag. Electrocute them and sic the dogs on them, Jebus will save them if they confess.

Posted by: Stuart | August 7, 2008 9:29 AM

I love protesters. Whack them with a stick, revoke their visas and deport them, at their own expense. These people are an embarrassment to the US.

Posted by: Jimbo | August 7, 2008 9:35 AM


Let's see. They came, they protested, they got arrested, they got deported. Their names are in newspapers everywhere, their friends think they are heroes. What else were they trying to do besides be famous? Hmmm... couldn't have been important, since fame and glory are all they are interested in. Some cause or another? Who cares, as long as the newspaper spells their names right.

When I was young, we called this posturing. It means striking a pose so one looks cool, without caring what the effect is on the so-called cause. So cool!!!

Mostly I call this meaningless. In a week, outside of their social circle, it will be forgotten. A silly footnote to the Olympic Games.

In some countries, that are friends of the US, they would be tried for trying to convert others, and could be executed. The Chinese just send them on their way. And for their thanks, are called "bad". Hmmm....

Posted by: PatrickInBeijing | August 7, 2008 9:47 AM

I don't care for in your face prostelytizing, either. If you came to my house and behaved like this, I would probably ask you to leave as well. Freedom of religion is one thing but there are too many people in this world who want freedom to impose their religion. No matter where they are held, the Olympics should be about coming together, not pulling apart. So far, I've seen way too much arrogance expressed by the West. You are an honored guest who happens to live in a glass house. Act accordingly.

Posted by: Sara B. | August 7, 2008 9:55 AM

Where is the IOC to enforce their own rules?

Posted by: Billy B. | August 7, 2008 11:22 AM

GOOD FOR THE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS protesting INSIDE China. They have more guts and faith then the coward named president bush who criticises China from Bangkok in Thailand.

Hmm, Bush could be the newest Dixie Chick. Remember them criticising Bush from OUTSIDE America in London?

Well where are you neo-cons not taking Bush to task for criticising China from OUTSIDE china?

Conservative, right-wing HYPOCRITS !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: American Christian | August 7, 2008 12:38 PM

To all the anti-christians inside this forum; since you hate American christians or christianity per se, you would better off living in China. This way you can sing praise to Chairman Mao.

An FYI too; Jerry Falwell is in heaven and Pat Robertson is in Virgina Beach. Where in the disccused article did they obtain visas to protest in China?

Posted by: Christian | August 7, 2008 12:44 PM

The Washington Post is to be commended for not quoting Boise-based anti-choice activist Melissa Brandi Swindell in its coverage of the Xian pro-xian stunt in Tiananmen Square. The very fact that the three Xian activists unfurled a flag claiming that "Jesus Christ is king" shows they don't care about anybody's religions but their own. Apparently, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists and Freethinkers don't matter to them. If those three so-called "Christians" had read their B/bible they would know that Yeshua ("Jesus") never claimed to be "king". Instead of grandstanding in Beijing, Yeshua ("Jesus") would probably be in Darfur -- but that would take real courage -- something America's religious Reich lacks!

Posted by: Idaho Freethinker | August 7, 2008 2:13 PM


If Muslim protest without the permission in the front of the white house, i think they will be dragged away too, but with several bullets in their dead bodies. . haha..

Posted by: KKK | August 7, 2008 5:30 PM

The shame with events like this is that it is in complete opposition to the way Jesus demonstrated Christianity.

Instead of making signs and protesting, spend your time loving and sacrificing your life so that others may have a better one.

Love crosses all religious and political boundaries.

Posted by: Derek | August 7, 2008 7:26 PM

What Christian activists? or whatever activists they are called, we can call them commonly as "numbskulls". The reason for this is that, into their thick heads, they must be literate to know this is Olympics. Olympics is for the Olympians. So, do not spoil their party. Non-Olympians are mere spectators. One must keep to this law, social and sporting discipline. For the activists who are not following this rule, we will call them anti-democractic activists. For me, it is easier to call them simply as "numbskulls".

Posted by: Jake | August 7, 2008 8:32 PM

To those Christian protesters, I wonder if it ever occured to them that they are worshipping cruelty. How can they persuade the Chinese to believe in a man who was supposedly nailed to a Cross two thousand years ago? The Chinese certainly consider it as cruelty. When it comes to religions, westerners and Americans are so silly, they rely on this silly imported religion called Christianity. Why can't they be more creative and create a religion themselves. Say instead of worshipping a Cross, try worshipping a tree, at least they can see the tree grows. Furthermore, at least they are being more creative, not blindly follow this imported religion called Christianity. The Chinese certainly have created a lot relions that are peaceful.

Posted by: Maersk | August 7, 2008 8:38 PM

The true hypocrisy here is in the uneven criticism in the great majority of these posts. How happy are the many readers here to ridicule the Christian protesters while the "Free Tibet" group gets away unscathed. And as well they should get away unscathed. Both groups are brave to stand up against a government known to throw people in jail and labor camps because of their beliefs. Clearly many of you think that dissent is fine as long as it's not from Christians. This is a sad state to in which to find supposedly learned people.

Those who claim to wear the mantle of tolerance, regardless of their views on religion, should roundly rebuke the anti-Christian sentiments viciously spewed from the keyboards of the unfortunates who post statements such as:

"Good. Keep these Christians in China." Or even more despicable, "Let the waterboarding begin!" and "Electrocute them and sic the dogs on them."

You should really be ashamed of yourselves.

And let us consider what both of these groups are protesting. While some have given the childish simplification that they are only "upset because they don't have free reign to run the Chinese countryside converting all the heathens to Christians" the truth is much more intolerable. Chinese people themselves are not allowed to practice any religion not sponsored and run by the regime, much less Christianity (there are civilly managed puppet churches people can practice their faiths in). There are members of underground Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and other sects that are imprisoned and/or in labor camps simply for trying to practice their beliefs. Last year, Roman Catholic Bishop Han Dingxiang died in prison after 8 years of captivity in just another case of China's systematic persecution of religious communities. The Cardinal Kung Foundation keeps a list of some of the Catholic persecuted here on their website: http://www.cardinalkungfoundation.org/prisoners/index.htm

Of course there are many more from other faiths as well. Are we to ridicule those with the courage to face similar fates in standing up for these people?

Posted by: Why the Hate? | August 7, 2008 9:35 PM

I cannot say I know the Bible well, but when did Jesus supposedly claim he was a king? I think this may be more of an affront to many devout Christians than the Chinese government.

Posted by: Independent | August 7, 2008 10:00 PM

I think protests are good. But I think the world should continue to watch China's Communist government even many years after the Olympics. If the whole world continues to watch, human rights issue won't be forgotten because the Communist government wants everyone to forget after the Olympics so they can continue to implemant their regime of eradicating Tibetan culture and human rights for Chinese people.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 11:44 PM

These christians should talk. I was just reading about Abu Gharib and the rape of women there by "leaders of Democracy." Why aren't they protesting there. I know for a fact that rape was not an Iraqi woman's idea of liberation. Maybe this is part of their faith...yes i've been studying their book too!

Posted by: III | August 8, 2008 12:45 AM

Except for numerous writers, certain newspaper editorials, a few reporters such as Keith Olbermann, and hardly any Democrats in Congress other than Dennis Kuccinich, the serious human rights abuses and violations of the Constitution by the Bush-Cheney administration have been ignored by most people, as well as the majority in the media in this country.

Americans can hardly expect more of the Chinese people to be openly concerned about human rights and respect for the rule of law, when there is such little interest for the same subjects in the United States.

Posted by: Independent | August 8, 2008 2:19 AM

White Supremacists Detained
1. One thing should be made clear, do not call yourselves Christians, it would be more accurate to call yourselves white supremacists, or imperialists, China haters, or anti-China propagandists, etc. You defame the name of Christ by representing White nations that have historically and repeatedly wronged China. Since the infamous Opium Wars, white supremacists have oppressed China and killed millions and millions of natives all over the world thinking they were offering service to God. This is so-called the “white man’s burden”, the deadly and dangerous doctrine that white people were superior and therefore they were given divine right to dominate other races. Jesus Christ said, "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (Jhn 8:44) America is not a Christian nation, but a nation driven mad by the values of money, power and sex. America has become the most hated nation on earth; it has nothing to do with Christianity.
2. Many years ago I wrote to the Chinese leader Deng Xiao Ping, asking him to let Chinese Christian churches be opened again because they were not agents of imperialists or colonialists. Christians are followers of Jesus Christ; they do not represent any foreign powers. To my delight many and many more churches were opened. Foreigners should not use religion to dictate China or tell China what to do.
3. Reporters and journalists with Chinese last names who are actually foreign agents should change into foreign names such as Fox, Wolf, Beast, Alligator, etc. so that not to disgrace their Chinese ancestors.
Willie Wong
August 8, 2008
http://www.wongwillie.zoomshare.com/

Posted by: Willie Wong | August 8, 2008 4:54 AM

christian Persecution in the evrey place araound world china / iran / pakistan / >> etc
http://www.coptreal.com/FileSubjects.aspx?f=23

Posted by: george | August 8, 2008 6:19 AM

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I don't think that china needs the likes of pat robertson, or jerry falwell to tell them how to run their community.

as it says in the bible; remove the log from your own eye first so you can more clearly see the speck in your neighbour's.

Posted by: otiwa ogede | August 7, 2008 6:55 AM
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Interesting comment. Clearly not a Christian, since the Bible verse quote was pulled out of context and used as a weapon.

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The true hypocrisy here is in the uneven criticism in the great majority of these posts. How happy are the many readers here to ridicule the Christian protesters while the "Free Tibet" group gets away unscathed.
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Smart observation, and very true. Two groups were depicted in the article, but only one receives the criticism. Amazing.

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Why can't they be more creative and create a religion themselves. Say instead of worshipping a Cross, try worshipping a tree, at least they can see the tree grows.
---------------------------------------------

It already exists! It's called fanatical environmentalism.

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The Washington Post is to be commended for not quoting Boise-based anti-choice activist Melissa Brandi Swindell in its coverage of the Xian pro-xian stunt in Tiananmen Square. The very fact that the three Xian activists unfurled a flag claiming that "Jesus Christ is king" shows they don't care about anybody's religions but their own. Apparently, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists and Freethinkers don't matter to them
---------------------------------------------

So, you expect one group to come and represent the interests of...another group? Why?!

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If those three so-called "Christians" had read their B/bible they would know that Yeshua ("Jesus") never claimed to be "king". Instead of grandstanding in Beijing, Yeshua ("Jesus") would probably be in Darfur -- but that would take real courage -- something America's religious Reich lacks!
---------------------------------------------

You are correct; Jesus never said that he was king. Does that mean that every monarchy must first label themselves as "king" before they truly are? If I label myself as "king", will that make me one?

Truth is truth, and falsehood is falsehood. The personal label, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with it, so your argument is a strawman.

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Christians protesting for "religious freedom" in China? Translation:

"Christians upset because they don't have free reign to run the Chinese countryside converting all the heathens to Christians."

The LAST thing Christians want is "freedom". ...
Posted by: rightwingreligiousnutcase | August 7, 2008 9:28 AM
---------------------------------------------

Is that what they were protesting? From everything I read, the Christians were not asking to "run the Chinese countryside converting all the heathens to Christians". What a ridiculous extremist comment! Protesting for religious freedom simply means asking for the right to express your faith.

Why espouse freedom of anything? America is turning into a socialist country as it is; communism is only a few doors down. Let's just turn in our freedoms now, sign our families over to the government, and work for them. Sounds like a great plan!

My hope is that all of the people complaining about EITHER of the groups represented in this article does not live in the U.S., since religious freedom (NO STATE RELIGION) is one of our foundational backbones. If not, truly, these hypocrites should move elsewhere.

If you don't enjoy the benefits of freedom (such as the right to complain about your country and your goverment. The irony is that China would be hunting you down for some of the comments made here.), then simply move elsewhere, and all these little nagging annoyances like "freedom" will all melt away, and you won't have to deal with them anymore.

To believe in such ideals truly displays the ignorance that so many have about our history. We truly never really learn our lessons.

Posted by: Amanda | August 12, 2008 1:16 PM

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