September 29, 2004
To: Friends and Supporters of Christian Freedom International
From: Jim Jacobson, President
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Lobbying on Behalf of Iraqi
We had great meetings on Capitol Hill on Monday and Tuesday. As you may recall, yesterday we hosted two individuals representing the Iraqi Christian community. We want to make sure that Christians in Iraq don't fall between the cracks regarding security, representation, and reconstruction. While we were on the Hill, we learned of nine more Iraqi Christians tragically murdered yesterday in Baghdad. Here are there names:
On Monday's meeting with the U.N. in Senator Brownback's office we moved one step closer to making something happen regarding Karen and Karenni adoptions. Please stay tuned.
Food for Thought
I received a lot of mail from my September 22 email update regarding "Startling News from Communist China." I want to share -- with the author's permission -- the following email I received from the China Support Network.
I think the writer makes a lot of sense -- what do you think?
Dear Jim Jacobson,
I am field director of China Support Network, an organization promoting freedom, human rights, and democracy for China.
One of my areas of activity is promoting the boycott of Made in China products. Your news alert was like music to my ears, because recently I have been considering how to involve more Christians in supporting the China democracy movement and especially the boycott. (CSN is a non-partisan organization and without religious affiliation; we unite all who work for a free China.)
I feel that the China boycott is especially well-suited to Christians, because the trade helps the communists, the production hurts the workers and the slave laborers, the end products are stained with the evil, and the purchases by Christians supports further evil.
So it looks like a clear-cut case, and I would have expected Christians to be among the biggest boycotters. Yet, I do not see Christian ministries and organizations promoting the boycott.
I've noticed many reasons why Christians don't get on board with the boycott. Some Christians don't like to get involved in anything "political." (Although they already have been unwittingly involved politically and socially in the worst kind of evil when buying and boycott is actually freeing people from this involvement.)
Some don't believe that certain trusted retailers (which may be admired by many Christians and even praised by some Christian leaders) would do anything wrong or sell anything with a dark side to it.
And many Christians trust the popular ideology that trade will lead to democracy.
Some rationalize that there are too many products to avoid, but if people applied this thinking to every aspect of their lives then no evil could be opposed unless it were highly convenient. (For this argument, I'm considering proposing this year that the average boycotter should be able to avoid at least 90 percent of Made in China purchases, if not more, and the remaining percentage would drop as the boycott grows and information is shared.)
I would like to see Christian organizations promoting Made in China boycott and Christian consumers sending a message about freedom through their shopping habits.
During October through December, as part of my general boycott efforts I'm going to try reaching out to Christian consumers and Christian organizations with some targeted reasons why they should join the boycott and what they can do.
Because you and your organization are in the rare position as Christians promoting the avoidance of Made in China products (although your e-mail did not use the word "boycott") I would appreciate any type of cooperation in getting the boycott message to Christians.
It should be an easy sell, but for many reasons including the above, the boycott is ironically a harder sell to Christians than to some other groups in the population.
Popular ministries and organizations and companies are doing harm by not drawing attention to the problems with Made in China products, by praising retailers with terrible records, and by making their own Christian products in China--as you pointed out!
So, if you would like to find ways to work together in promoting the boycott of these evil products, please let me know. Would you like an article for your newsletter? Or to pursue ideas of how to most effectively get the boycott message to Christians and address the arguments that are holding them back?
Another desperately needed area of action, besides boycott, is contacting politicians to demand linkage of trade and human rights. And of course, support for China freedom is support for the end of these problems.
I would love to see more Christian involvement in these issues and in the China democracy movement.
I want to encourage all the groups who should be avoiding MIC products, including Christians, to promote boycott individually and hopefully also collectively. (The Tibetans are currently the most active boycott supporters, with the excellent resource www.boycottmadeinchina.org)
Considering the resources at the disposal of the Chinese Communist Party and the lack of ethics, naivety, and corruption on the part of American businesses and politicians, we need all the help we can get in turning around the situation.
Thank you for raising awareness of the problem with products from China, and I hope that we will be able to talk further about how to make progress on this important issue.
Curry Kenworthy, Field Director
Promoting China democracy since 1989
If you would like someone from CFI to speak at your church or event, please call us at 1-800-323-CARE or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Christian Freedom International is an interdenominational human rights organizations for religious liberty providing aid and advocacy to persecuted Christians worldwide.
September 29, 2004