Chinese delegation has a front row view
A group of 14 members of ChinaAid, an international nonprofit Christian human rights organization, visited Jefferson County over the past 10 days to observe American democracy at work.
According to Michael Donnelly, director of Global Outreach with the Home School Legal Defense Association, who helped organize the visit, the group observed many campaign activities including door-to-door visits by candidates, sign-waving and other efforts by candidates not seen in their home country.
The group, housed by local families of Fellowship Bible Church in Shenandoah Junction, attended church services there Sunday morning. The group’s leader, Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid, spoke to a special Sunday School gathering about the organization and about the hardships and travesties facing Christians in China today.
Fu, who was forced to flee China to the United States in 1996, was, in 1989, one of the student leaders in Tiananmen Square demonstrating for freedoma nd democracy. After that experience, Fu said he became a Christian and led a house church while teaching English at the Communist Party School in Beijing.
Both Fu and his wife, Heidi, were considered a threat to the Chinese Communist government and were imprisoned for “illegal evangelism” which led them to flee the country.
Fu organized ChinaAid in 2002 to promote religious freedom in China and raise awareness worldwide of the ongoing persecution of religious believers in China.
Fu and the remainder of the delegation enjoyed their visit to the Eastern Panhandle. They spent much time sightseeing in and around Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown. A favorite was O’Hurley’s General Store which they visited Sunday afternoon.
While in the United States, the group also traveled to Washington, D.C., where they met with State Department officials regarding religious persecution in China and how the United States can assist in that area.
The group also visited Patrick Henry College in nearby Purcellville, Virginia, where they met with students in the journalism department to discuss the role of the press in Democracy and freedom.
On election day, the members visited the GOP headquarters in Martinsburg as well as the Democratic headquarters in Charles Town.
Donnelly shared that the group traveled to the polls where they observed Donnelly and his wife in the voting process. The group then visited Alex Mooney’s headquarters and attended a victory party there following the final tally of votes.
Many of the contingency, who spoke little or no English, were in awe of the process they observed in the Jefferson County Courthouse Tuesday night. They snapped photos of County Clerk Jennifer Maghan as she read out final voter results to those gathered to hear who was elected to what office.
“We learned a lot about the process,” Fu shared. “We have enjoyed our time here,” he continued.
“We came here to learn from this exceptional nation,” Fu said.
His group was comprised of lawyers, writers, publishers and other leaders of the future in China, he said.