Almost all the members of the Chinese Mayflower Church arrived in Texas as part of a resettlement move on Good Friday. Their arrival followed a three-year ordeal during which the members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church left China and landed in South Korea and then in Thailand while they looked for asylum in the United States.
The group has been renamed “Mayflower Church” based on the English ship that brought Pilgrims who sought religious freedom to North America. Recently, the police in Thailand took them into custody and they were reportedly scheduled for deportation to China when their visas expired. CBN News reports that a Thai official had said, “Within the next week, they will definitely be deported. What we don’t know is which country they will be deported to.”
Religious freedom activists say the U.S. State Department played a crucial role in sending the Christian refugees to the U.S. instead of back to China.
CBN News reports:
Most of the 63 members of a Chinese church fleeing persecution from the communist regime arrived at an airport in Texas on Friday night after finally being granted safe haven in the United States. One family from the group remained in Thailand because the mother is pregnant and they were unable to make the journey until she gives birth.
Dr. Bob Fu, founder, and president of China Aid, helped organize the campaign for freedom. He confirmed to CBN News that the refugees were heading to the Dallas-Forth Worth airport Friday night.
Thailand has in the past repatriated Chinese nationals wanted by China, including members of the Uyghur ethnic group, a mostly Turkic Muslim minority that has faced religious and racial persecution in the Xinjiang Province on China’s northwestern frontier. Thai authorities had also previously deported Chinese dissidents who were recognized as refugees by the U.N. and were awaiting resettlement in Canada, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Religious freedom activists said the U.S. State Department played an important part in working with Thai officials to have the Christian refugees sent to the U.S. instead of China where they would face punishment for their faith.
Freedom Seekers International, a Texas group, that assists people seeking religious freedom, will help them resettle in the city of Tyler.
Read the full article here.