May 22, 2012 – As an update to our story Chen Guangcheng and Family Welcomed to the USA, Faith and Action’s Peggy Nienaber and our partner, Reverend Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, talk about the power of prayer and public witness in liberating Christians and human rights activists from government persecution.
On May 22, Peggy and Rev. Mahoney were also part Father Paul Schenck’s Christian delegation that welcomed and prayed for the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena from Mosul, Iraq. Click here for the story and video at our partner organization the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill.
May 4, 2012
Yesterday, Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey came to a meeting we were holding and updated us on the circumstances surrounding Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Chris is a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and chairs the Congressional-Executive Committee on China. He is also one of the boldest Christians in Congress and a longtime friend of Faith and Action. Moments after meeting with us, he went into a special hearing where he received a personal phone call from Chen. You probably saw this in the national news. Chris expressed alarm to us about Chen’s safety. He also conveyed profound concern about how Chen was handled by the State Department. Even though the State Department has now “arranged for Chen to come to the U.S.,” we know they already abandoned Chen once. We will not allow them to abandon him again. We will not stand by as our government plays political tricks with people’s lives in what former Governor Mitt Romney called “a dark day for freedom.”
C-SPAN covered Chen’s daring but diplomatic phone call to Congressman Smith:
Today, Faith and Action’s partner Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition knelt and prayed in front of the White House in solidarity with Chen. Among others, Pat was accompanied by his wife, Katie, Father Victor Salomon of Priests for Life, and Tina Whittington of Students for Life of America. We were there as a prophetic witness to remind President Obama it is unacceptable to sacrifice a hero of liberty and freedom on the altar of economic and political interests.
As I write this, Pat, Katie, and Tina are in jail. Fr. Salomon, working in the United States on a visa from South America, had to step away because it wouldn’t be prudent to endanger his status. Likewise, Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life stood with Pat, but had children with her and couldn’t risk being arrested.
So we do face challenges: After all our programs on Capitol Hill this week, our efforts on behalf of Chen are straining us financially to the breaking point. Crises, like what’s happening with Chen, are things we can never plan for—they just happen. But we can never turn our backs on courageous heroes, like Chen, saying, “Sorry, we can’t afford to help you.”
WE MUST HELP THEM!
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Proverbs 3:27 (NKJV)
We will do everything in our power to assist Chen. Of course, everything we do is the result of the prayers and financial support of our friends like you.
Your gift will help make certain we have the resources to stand as prophetic witnesses on behalf of Chen and his family to the President and to Congress. We will get the message through—but we need your help to do it!
Together we will make our stand in support of Chen and the principles of freedom and human dignity. To support Faith and Action’s work, please click here and make a tax-deductible donation.
Your missionary to our nation’s capital,
Rev. Rob Schenck
See more about our White House vigil for Chen Guangcheng below
Rev. Pat Mahoney on AFA’s Focal Point on May 3
May 3, 2012
Early today, the missionary team at Faith and Action gathered in the brisk morning air of our nation’s capital for the ONLY National Day of Prayer observance held at the steps of the United States Supreme Court. There, we fervently prayed on behalf of our nation and its leaders for the winds of revival to once again blow across America.
After our prayer at the court, our team attended the “by invitation only” National Day of Prayer meeting in the Canon Building of the U.S .House of Representatives.
We rejoice that pastors and leaders from diverse places like Arkansas, Illinois, and the State of Washington joined us in our efforts today to be a prophetic witness to our national leaders. We rejoice that God has uniquely positioned us right across the street from the United States Supreme Court, one block from the U.S. Capitol Building, and ten minutes from the White House. We take seriously our divine calling to challenge the hearts and minds of our national elected and appointed officials with biblical truth.
That’s why, in spite of my joy in our efforts in Washington today, I’m gravely concerned and deeply saddened.
What so distresses and alarms me is the cowardly way the administration sold out a hero of the faith. I’m speaking about Chen Guangcheng, the blind dissident in China who first revealed to the public the abhorrent practice of forced abortions and sterilization to sustain China’s “one child” policy.
It appears the Obama administration has betrayed Mr. Chen by allowing him to be placed into the hands of the Chinese government without assuring that his rights and his safety would be protected. Tweets coming out of China from Mr. Chen and his wife make clear that the only reason Mr. Chen left the U.S. Embassy was because he was told that his wife would be beaten if he did not leave immediately. Our officials assured him that if he went to the hospital they would make certain he was safe. Once in the hospital, it seems our “officials” abandoned him.
Mr. Chen now wants to leave China and fears for his safety and the safety of his family. He expressed dismay that the American government failed him—even misled him. If that is true, and we have no reason not to believe that Mr. Chen is telling the truth, the actions of our “officials” are a national embarrassment, a national disgrace. WE CANNOT LET THAT STAND!
That’s why one of our Faith and Action missionaries, Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, will lead a prayer vigil and demonstration in support of Chen Guangcheng in front of the White House on Friday, May 4 at Noon.
The vigil will be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW on the Lafayette Park side. We will be praying for Chen Guangcheng and his family and calling upon President Obama and the United States to ensure his safety and protection—just as we promised we would.
As Pat Mahoney said, “It is ironic that as President Obama has been touting his leadership in ‘getting’ Osama Bin Laden that he would now show no moral courage or leadership in standing up to the Chinese government and demanding the release and safety of Chen Guangcheng. It is critical that President Obama not betray Chen Guangcheng and the principles of justice for which he has been imprisoned, beaten and tortured.”
Now here’s what you can do:
1) PRAY! Wherever you are, take a moment on Friday at noon (Eastern Time) to pray for Chen, for his family and for our nation. These are critical moments in our nation’s history and they call for serious, united prayers. There is power in unified prayer! I still believe prayer makes a difference.
2) GIVE! Everything we do is the result of the financial support of our friends—friends like you. We have no other means of support. These events are critical and demand a response. But with the economy continuing to falter, we are financially strained. We simply do not have the funds to cover our costs. Right now we need your help to make certain we can remain your prophetic voice to our elected and appointed officials. Can we count on you?
Your gift of will enable us to effectively challenge the administration to stand up for Chen Guangcheng and stop betraying the principles of justice upon which our nation was founded.
Thank you. We’ll keep you informed.
Your missionary to our nation’s capital,
Rev. Rob Schenck