US Congressman Lance Gooden sent a letter on Friday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to ensure the safety of Christian religious refugees from China who were detained alongside two Americans in Thailand and face the threat of deportation
WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 31st March, 2023) US Congressman Lance Gooden sent a letter on Friday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to ensure the safety of Christian religious refugees from China who were detained alongside two Americans in Thailand and face the threat of deportation.
"I am apprehensive, and profoundly alarmed to hear of a group of sixty religious refugees of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church who have so far evaded persecution and imprisonment after their escape from the People's Republic of China (PRC)," the letter said.
Members of the group, also referred to as the "Mayflower Church" due to their efforts to flee from religious persecution in their home country, were denied refugee status in South Korea and retreated to Thailand.
On Thursday, members of the Mayflower Church and two American travelers from Texas were detained by Thai police, the letter said. The future of the church's members remain uncertain while they face the threat of deportation back to China, the letter said.
"Under no circumstances should the members of Mayflower Church be allowed to face persecution again in China, and the Biden administration must take immediate action to ensure their safety. If these Christians were deported back to China, they would face baseless criminal charges, prison, and torture," the letter said.
The two Americans detained alongside the church members have also been left in a state of uncertainty after having their passports confiscated, the letter said. It is the responsibility of the United States to ensure the rights of its citizens are protected while abroad, the letter said.
The letter also requests an immediate update to Congress on the Biden administration's plan to aid the religious refugees.
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China grants freedom of religious belief and protection of "normal religious activities" that do not disrupt public order or interfere with state education.
The Chinese government demonstrates a "merciless treatment" of Christians despite its constitutional law, the letter said.