But God had other plans for Fu Xiqiu. Bob Fu discovered Christianity when an American professor told him about a Chinese Christian named Xi Shengmo (1835-1896). Bob eventually joined the house church movement in China. He and his wife spent two months in a communist prison for believing in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, Bob Fu and his wife fled to America.
A Christian country. They were sure they would be welcomed.
Sinking the Mayflower
On the first day of April, 2023, I speak with Pastor Fu on a video call. He is at his home in west Texas. “I haven’t slept much these past two weeks,” Pastor Fu tells me. “We’ve been working to bring home some Chinese Christians stranded in Thailand.”
Bob Fu is the founder of China Aid, an “international non-profit Christian human rights organization committed to promoting religious freedom and the rule of law in China.” He knows what it is to put his own needs to the side to help others.
When tyrannies and dictatorships are coming, this is when they wake up fathers and little children in the dark to terrorize them.”
But this is a bigger sacrifice than most. Pastor Fu has been losing sleep–and also traveling to South Korea–in an effort to help some Chinese believers known as Mayflower Christians.
The Mayflower Christians are members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, a Protestant group which fled persecution in mainland China in late 2019. The Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church went first to South Korea, but the government there—which until very recently was run by the pro-Beijing, pro-North Korea Moon Jae-in regime—ultimately refused to grant them asylum.
The Mayflower Christians next went to Thailand, also, sadly, increasingly under the sway of Beijing. The Thai authorities were preparing to deport the Christians—thirty-five children and twenty-eight adults—back to China, where the usual communist horrors awaited them.
One would think that the United States government would want to help Christians, especially Christians in a church called “Mayflower.” But Pastor Fu has sobering words for those who believe the United States is still a Christian country.
“One leader of a Washington NGO, the Religious Freedom Institute, which is also trying to help the Mayflower Christians, privately shared with me that he tried to persuade the State Department to intervene on the Christians’ behalf. The senior State Department official told the NGO leader that the State Department had no business with Christians.
“Last week or so, former Congressman Frank Wolf asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make a call and get the Christians released.
“Frank Wolf publicly challenged the State Department by asking, ‘One has to wonder whether the State Department’s indifference to the Shenzhen church members was because the people involved were Christians from China.’
“Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, and others in government issued strong statements supporting the Christians. The State Department may relent in the face of this pressure, but it will be an unwilling compliance.”
The COVID years were the climax of anti-Christian persecution,” Pastor Fu tells me. “What had been passive persecution went active.”
Thankfully, the State Department did relent. After Pastor Fu and I speak, news breaks that the Mayflower Christians are heading to the United States.
Still, the negotiations have rattled Bob Fu.
Pastor Bob Fu (far left) and family
Pastor Fu mentions that the Biden regime has signed off on 150,000 humanitarian paroles for refugees from Ukraine and Afghans within a couple of months.
“But sixty-three house church Christians, the State Department says, are ‘too many to handle’.”
How Washington Became Beijing
Even more disturbing than the United States government’s open discrimination against Christians is that it appears to be done in coordination with the Chinese Communist Party.
“It’s very subtle,” Pastor Fu tells me, “but I can see the collusion between Washington and Beijing.”
Pastor Fu tells me that those trying to help the Mayflower Christians have been documenting every incident of kidnapping, interrogation, and harassment against those innocent people by Chinese authorities and those apparently working on those authorities’ behalf.
“We are uneasy about this documentation at the same time,” Pastor Fu relates. “The information is important to prove to the world what China does to Christians, and what other governments do to help China further its persecution.
“But the information could wind up in the hands of the CCP.”
Armed with such information, the CCP would have a ready-made hit list to hand, very helpful for improving the efficiency and thoroughness of its crackdown if the Mayflower Christians were to be sent back to China.
In the USA and in the PRC, both governments use manipulation, deception, ideological division, the rhetoric of class struggle, and government-enforced conformity to persecute Christian believers.
“I’ve been in the United States for twenty-six years,” Pastor Fu explains. “I’ve seen the cultural and political persecution of Christians increase here every year.
“I remember years ago watching Christian ministers address Congress and various Congressional committees on C-SPAN,” Pastor Fu continues. “So often, the Christians would say, ‘I am a man of faith.’ But why not say, ‘I am a Christian’? Early on, in the language people use, I could tell that there was a stigma, a fear about acknowledging in public that one believed in Christianity.
“People were, as St. Paul warns against in Romans 1:16, ‘ashamed of the Gospel’.”
Now, Pastor Fu continues, Washington and Beijing are, in his view, “the same.”
“It started in earnest under Obama, who was the first postmodern president,” Pastor Fu says. “Cultural relativism became the norm, at least ostensibly. But what was really happening was that Christian persecution was ramping up. It was obvious that Christians were a group that it was culturally and politically appropriate, even encouraged, to discriminate against.”
I remember the campaign by Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary from 2009 to 2014, against the Little Sisters of the Poor. I remember Obama’s mockery of those who “cling to guns or religion”—and by “religion” he meant those who read the Bible. It was hardly Obama’s only taunt against Christians.
“The COVID years were the climax of anti-Christian persecution,” Pastor Fu tells me. “What had been passive persecution went active. Look at California, where there was a specific targeting of Christian communities. In Canada, too, Justin Trudeau’s government has been going after Christians.”
Artur Pawlowski, a Polish-Canadian who, like Bob Fu, knows what it is to live under a Communist dictatorship, was hounded and arrested by the Canadian police state for keeping his church open during the pandemic. Armed Calgary authorities, along with a “public health inspector” (a standard fascist practice), showed up at Pastor Pawlowski’s church during Passover services in 2021. The police state came back a month later and arrested Pastor Pawlowski. (Then they arrested him again.)
Then the Canadian police state went after largely Christian truckers.
“In the United States,” Pastor Fu says, “I am seeing the government do the same things that the CCP did against Christians in China. Governor Gavin Newsom of California, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles—these people used the administrative power of government to attack Christians. It’s a total violation of religious freedom.
Look at what has been revealed in the Twitter Files, how the FBI created a fake narrative, spread disinformation, with the full cooperation of major media. Look at how the CIA, the DOJ, DHS, and other agencies have weaponized government against people of Christian faith.”
“And it’s just like what I experienced in China. My wife and I were arrested in China for engaging in ‘illegal religious activities’. So were people in California, and elsewhere—in America. In the USA and in the PRC, both governments use manipulation, deception, ideological division, the rhetoric of class struggle, and government-enforced conformity to persecute Christian believers.
“Look at the propaganda around January Sixth,” Pastor Fu continues. “It was almost exactly the same as the completely false narrative that the Chinese government put out about the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989. After Tiananmen, the Chinese government and the state-owned media told us that the demonstrators had beaten up soldiers. Chinese state-run television, like CCTV, showed footage purportedly proving it.
“But the truth is the opposite. American mainstream media is no different now than China Daily. It is all the same tactics, all government-orchestrated, one-sided propaganda. Character assassination and lies by state-co-opted media—this is what happened after Tiananmen, and, to my shock and sadness, it is what happened after January Sixth.
“Look at what has been revealed in the Twitter Files, how the FBI created a fake narrative, spread disinformation, with the full cooperation of major media. Look at how the CIA, the DOJ, DHS, and other agencies have weaponized government against people of Christian faith.”
Remnant readers will surely recall that earlier this year news broke that the FBI’s Richmond Field Office had been circulating a memo encouraging the targeting of traditional Catholics. The memo, which the FBI claims to have retracted after it was leaked to the press, was a pastiche of lies culled largely from a hard-left hate group known as the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“In the United States of America, as a Christian, for the first time in my life I have to pause before I post something on Twitter or Facebook. I have to think to myself, ‘Will I be visited by the FBI for this?’
“We live in a place that has been brainwashed by a fascist government. There is only one acceptable narrative for those in power in America—the Big Lie.”
From Liberalism to Totalitarianism
Pastor Bob Fu is a courageous man, and also a highly learned one. He speaks with great perception and knowledge about classical liberalism and theological approaches to democracy during our interview. Pastor Fu explains that he wrote his PhD thesis at St. John’s College of Durham University on principled pluralism and political liberalism, drawing on the work of Dutch theologian and politician Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) and American legal and political philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002).
In China, we have a saying to describe this kind of absolutist, I’m-always-right mindset: ni si wo huo (你死我活). Quite literally it means, ‘I live, you die.’
“We are a long way now from classical liberalism in the United States,” Pastor Fu laments. “Kuyper and Rawls tried to find ways to allow dissenting groups to live together in peace. Now, Wokeism would make John Rawls roll over in his grave. There is simply no possible position in America anymore, from the so-called elites’ point of view, except whatever position they happen to hold at a given time.
“In China, we have a saying to describe this kind of absolutist, I’m-always-right mindset: ni si wo huo (你死我活). Quite literally it means, ‘I live, you die.’ In other words, there is no room for both of our viewpoints. Since there can be only one way of thinking, it must be mine instead of yours.
“That is dark, but it’s where we are in the United States today.
“Look at what happened in Nashville,” Pastor Fu says. “A person claiming to be transgender walked into a Christian school and shot six Christians, three of them children. But the media, and the Biden regime, treat the killer as the victim.
“A deeply anti-Christian spirit is pervading our country. Deep State, state and local governments, the media, most elite universities—almost all are openly hostile to Christians, to Christianity, to anything or anyone which opposes the government line.
“It’s all about the government. The government thinks it is God. Biden thinks he is an emperor. He dictates everything to everyone. I have seen this all before in the country I escaped from.
“We in America are following in the footsteps of socialist and communist societies. It all really gained steam with the Hillary e-mail scandal. I realized then that equal justice under the law is dead. And once that is gone, once the government is in business for itself, then the country as a whole is finished.
In America I see a very clear path ahead. Over the next few years, the extreme left in America will instigate Christian reactions so there will be more legitimacy to ratchet up the anti-Christian persecution.
“In America I see a very clear path ahead. Over the next few years, the extreme left in America will instigate Christian reactions so there will be more legitimacy to ratchet up the anti-Christian persecution.
“I am very worried.”
Washington’s Anti-Christian SWAT Teams
Skeptics and enemies of the Christian faith may be reading this and scoffing.
“Bob Fu is delusional,” some might interject. “Christians are always talking about being persecuted, but show me anyone in America whom the government is going after because of his Christian faith.”
In late March, 2023, I spoke briefly with Mark Houck, a Catholic gentleman and devoted father of seven who lives in Pennsylvania. On the morning of September 23, 2022, some twenty armed FBI agents began banging on the Houcks’ door. When the Houcks opened the door, the agents, according to the Houcks, brandished their weapons at the family. The Houck children were terrified.
Why did the Department of Justice see fit to dispatch about as many armed men to arrest Mark Houck as the Pentagon sent to capture Osama bin Laden? What was family man Mark Houck’s horrific crime?
On October 13, 2021, Mark Houck and one of his sons were in prayer in front of a Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia. A man who volunteers to escort women into the clinic so their children can be dismembered for money was harassing the Houck boy. Mark Houck warned him off, then shoved him back when he approached his child.
A local jury threw out the case against Mark Houck. But Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has let pro-life pregnancy centers go on getting firebombed since last summer, went after Mark Houck anyway. Garland’s federal anti-Christian task force charged Mark Houck with violating the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Garland’s DOJ sought up to eleven years in a federal penitentiary for Mark Houck and a $350,000 fine.
We fought back,” Mark Houck tells me. “Eventually the government offered me a plea bargain. No prison time, no fine, a slap on the wrist. It would have been so easy to just take it. They wanted the conviction, that’s all. But I said, No. I am not going to be a part of any lies.”
“We fought back,” Mark Houck tells me. “Eventually the government offered me a plea bargain. No prison time, no fine, a slap on the wrist. It would have been so easy to just take it. They wanted the conviction, that’s all. But I said, No. I am not going to be a part of any lies.”
Mark Houck pleaded not guilty, and a federal jury acquitted him.
Mark Houck (far right) and family
And that’s not all. Now Houck is taking the fight to the oppressors.
“With the help of the Thomas More Society I am suing the federal government,” Houck tells me during our brief interview. “I don’t know if the DOJ is feeling the effects of this as much as we had hoped, but we must not accept what is being done.”
Houck mentions Paul Vaughn, yet another pro-life Christian who was arrested in yet another FBI raid.
“The Biden administration seems to be on a mission, after the Dobbs decision was handed down,” Houck says, “to restore Roe on a broad administrative level.”
The government wants its culture of death back.
The American government wants the culture of death. Christians stand in the way of achieving that goal. The Christians, therefore, must be neutralized.
“In Pennsylvania,” Houck continues, “abortion is still legal up to twenty-four weeks. We had more terminated pregnancies in 2022 than in 2021. Now you can get a chemical abortion, too, and abortifacients through Walgreens and CVS, even through the mail. The culture of death is ahead of the curve.”
The American government wants the culture of death. Christians stand in the way of achieving that goal. The Christians, therefore, must be neutralized.
The Devil Is Up to His Old Tricks
The persecution of Christians by the federal and many state governments is, of course, a political development. People in political power, and those who crave it, are the ones using the levers of the state to bring the full force of government down on top of people who refuse to worship power as they do.
But that is not all. “Worship”—that word indicates that something much bigger is going on.
“So many prolifers forget to see that this is a spiritual battle,” Mark Houck tells me during our late-March interview. “The devil names us by our sin, and he threatens us with the loss of all that we hold dear.”
And in many ways, the devil is using the state, and the state’s courts, to amplify fear in Christian hearts. Politics, yes, but often as a mask for evil. The state has made itself, time and again, the devil’s witting accomplice.
“The devil is up to his old tricks,” Houck continues. “All he wanted from me was one little lie. All I had to do was plead guilty to something, even though I did not do it.
“Cardinal Gerhard Müller was at my house recently,” Houck says. “He told us that we are not serfs of the state. The state serves us.”
This is ideally true. Mark Houck’s case, and many others’, indicates the opposite, however.
“When tyrannies and dictatorships are coming, this is when they wake up fathers and little children in the dark to terrorize them.”
And yet, even as the state persecutes him for his faith, Houck has become, if anything, even more Christian through his ordeal. Houck has been outspoken about what he calls the weaponization of government. But for years before Garland sent a SWAT team to point guns at his small children, Houck has been involved in a ministry, The King’s Men, aimed at building up Christian men to help heal society.
There is always light and darkness. There will always be, in human history, a fight between bondage and freedom.”
Houck realizes, he tells me, that “inviting people to the banquet,” opening our hearts to those who persecute us, is what we must do as the state cracks down on Christian believers.
“We are called to be a light in the darkness. I pray for our government—I must pray more, for Biden and everyone in power. Biden claims to be a Catholic, but he is a lost soul. I don’t pray enough for him. I offer up all of what I have been going through for the good of the people who are persecuting me, persecuting Christians in our country.”
Pastor Fu also emphasizes that we are in a spiritual war.
“Ephesians teaches us that we are in spiritual combat,” Pastor Fu says. “There is always light and darkness. There will always be, in human history, a fight between bondage and freedom.”
China as the New Noah’s Ark
The United States is not, as is often said, a “post-Christian country.” There is no such thing. No country slips out of Christianity peacefully. The United States is simply an anti-Christian country, joining many, many other formerly Christian countries around the world—Spain, for example, and England—in active, open hatred of Christianity and those practicing it.
But not all is as it seems. According to Bob Fu, the story does not end there.
“A journalist named David Aikman wrote an interesting book in 2003 called Jesus in Beijing,” Pastor Fu tells me. I have the book and agree it is well worth reading. “What Aikman detailed is now happening more and more. Christianity is conquering China.
“A sociologist named Yang Fenggang runs the Center on Religion and the Global East at Purdue University. Professor Yang concluded that the number of Chinese Christians in the PRC is now around 120 million. Yang expects that number to overtake the number of American Christians by 2030.”
It is almost an historical axiom, and certainly has been the Catholic experience. The more Christians are persecuted, the more the faith grows. China is proving no exception.
“The current dictator of China, Xi Jinping, is a perfect accelerant for Christianity in China,” Pastor Fu says.
Pastor Fu broaches the topic of Christians in America eventually seeking refuge in China. This may sound surprising at first, but I now believe it is entirely possible, even probable.
I recall that Shukri Abdirahman told me several months ago that Somalis in the United States were already fleeing the land that had once welcomed them as refugees.
Christians must first repent,” Pastor Fu says. “The churches in America lost their souls and their lives by compromising, by yielding territory to the point of complete surrender.”
The mainstreamed sexual exploitation of children in America, the constant barrage of fake news, the propaganda about the pandemic which Washington and Beijing seem to have designed in tandem, propaganda about the “vaccine” which is bringing about “sudden death syndrome,” and about which the state-run media in America is completely silent: all of this is driving sane people out of a country quickly going insane.
“One of my close friends is Chen Guangcheng,” Pastor Fu tells me, mentioning the name of a man I have admired for many years. Chen Guangcheng was a lawyer in his native China who worked to help women who had been subjected to brutal forced abortions and forced sterilizations at the hands of the Beijing dictatorship. He eventually fled to America.
“Chen Guangcheng made a speech at the Republican National Congress in 2020 endorsing Donald Trump,” Pastor Fu says. “There was a movie in the works about Chen’s life. But one of the big Hollywood stars involved in that movie yelled at Chen, told him it was unacceptable that he should endorse Trump. The Hollywood star got the funding cut off for the movie.
“Is this still a democratic country?” Pastor Fu asks me.
I find it impossible to answer his rhetorical question with a “Yes.” Chen Guangcheng left a totalitarian country and is now, in the United States, persecuted for his political views. One struggles to imagine how it must feel to be Chen Guangcheng, Bob Fu, Shukri Abdirahman.
“The Founding Fathers wanted to balance minority groups and prevent dictatorship. Suddenly, Uncle Sam, and the people in Hollywood and Washington and New York who run interference for the regime, they all think they’re dictators. There is a raw power in politics now.
“I think about how the future looks for Christians in America. Even though I have been working these past few weeks to help rescue Chinese Christians in Thailand, to keep them from being deported to meet a grim fate in China, I think there is a chance that, before too long, China will be a Christian country, and Christians from America will flee there.
“Glenn Beck has said recently that he expects a fully socialist government to take power in America by 2025. An economic collapse appears imminent—China is making serious moves against the primacy of the US dollar.
“Maybe it is God’s plan to make China our Noah’s Ark.”
We Are an Easter People
Pastor Fu shares a lot of sobering information and insights with me during our April 1st interview. But he has an uplifting message despite all of it.
“Christians must first repent,” Pastor Fu says. “The churches in America lost their souls and their lives by compromising, by yielding territory to the point of complete surrender. The churches in America, so many of them are no longer Christ’s. We Christians lost influence largely because we just gave it away.
Christ is our only hope. We are not made for the dead, the deceitful, the corrupt. China without Christ is as hopeless as America without Christ.
“And it started because we lost the Cross. So many churches in America now preach a different gospel other than Christ, and Him crucified. Christians, so many Christians, kept everything but Christ and His Crucifixion.”
Mark Houck offers a similar long view on Christians in America. We lost the culture, but first we have to rediscover our Christian calling before we can get it back.
“We’re all called to do something. But we’re not all-in as pro-lifers,” Houck says. “We show up for 40 Days for Life, maybe, but we are not looking at this through the lens of the divine, through a spiritual lens. The culture of death is more aggressive than we are. They’re ahead of us.”
The spirit of repentance goes even beyond the public presence of pro-lifers for Houck. For him, we must slough off decades of anti-woman, anti-life, anti-God straying and return to the ways that God has laid out for us.
“It’s a man’s fight,” Houck says. “The pro-life fight is a man’s fight.
“This is not to take anything away from the women, because they’ve been left holding the bag for years. What I mean is that the reason women seek abortions is because of men, because men fail women. We don’t support them emotionally or spiritually. We are seeing the fallout of the contraceptive mentality, the Sexual Revolution, the idea that women are for my pleasure.
“And vice versa, women are told to see men that way. And that’s demonic.
“If men are taught to live rightly, then, even though that might be called ‘toxic masculinity’, that helps women, honors them, complements their nature.
“But men have become passive, like Adam in the garden, standing by, muttering ‘Who am I to judge?’. Men are feminized, the Church is feminized, the clergy is feminized, they are not speaking from the pulpit. And that is also a man problem.
“Cardinal Müller said that the bishops are listening more to attorneys than to God,” Houck concludes by saying. “We’re all scared, all scared to be men, afraid to protect.”
Christianity is the embrace of the Cross. It is the Stabat Mater, no matter what. In the end there will be rejoicing, but first there must be the hard road of conversion of heart.
“We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.”
“Next week is Easter,” Pastor Fu reminds me at the end of our interview. “Christ is our only hope. We are not made for the dead, the deceitful, the corrupt. China without Christ is as hopeless as America without Christ. We need a spirit of revival in America if we are to have any chance of taking our country back for truth.”
--Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan
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