Monday, July 7, 2008

Boycott the Olympics

For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward (Heb 10:34-35).

In previous posts we have explained how suffering for the Gospel is normal Christianity and encouraged remembering the persecuted church as though suffering with them. Well, now we have a small opportunity to put some legs to this by boycotting the Olympics in Beijing this year. For further explanation, we include a lightly-edited e-mail from our friend of Romans 10 Fellowship fame:

I am writing to inform and ask you to seriously consider (1) boycotting the Olympic games in China, and (2) informing/educating others and even writing your congressman to express disapproval.

Did you know China was turned down in 2000 for its Olympic bid because of human rights violations? What about now, in 2008 when China has not improved?

First of all, if you are a Christian, you probably know that China has been persecuting Christians for a long time (see I'm not suggesting everyone stop buying Chinese products because then we end up hurting normal civilians just like ourselves who happen to live in China. However, the Olympic games bring a lot of media attention, a lot of money to a corrupt government, and create an atmosphere and attitude toward China from the rest of the world that China is an okay country, a great place for tourism, etc.

Maybe you are an athlete or you know an athlete that will be watching (and thus supporting) or maybe even playing in the Olympic games. Please confront them with these facts and exhort them to consider boycotting and thus taking a stand against China so the world can see and reprimand China. Chinese officials cannot keep making the world believe they are a civilized country. Eyes are on North Korea but they should not be off China. No doubt the Chinese economy will enjoy a boost during and after the Olympics due to travel and tourism. Please connect with others you were thinking of watching the Olympics with and decide to do something more effective with that time. Hopefully, one of you reading this will be in the Olympics and will decide to not play so that the basic human rights of the people of China might prevail.

China is one of the worst human rights violators in the world and this would not be the first Olympics to be boycotted for similar reasons.

See Amnesty International for updates and their 2007 report on China.

I'm not talking about a "right" to housing, education and those things that are nice to have. I'm talking about horrible atrocities that China commits against anyone the government deems "against them."

As Christians we pray for leaders so we can live peaceful and quiet lives, working with our own hands and living godly lives (1 Tim 2:1-2; 1 Thess 4:11-12). However, we also have freedom of speech in our country and tremendous impact because of our influence (and our pocketbooks).

I think the most impacting thing would be to send this message as far and wide as possible and hopefully it will reach an Olympic athlete who will definitely get coverage if they don't participate... remember Eric Liddell?

From forced abortions to no religious freedom to funding the Government of Sudan's genocide in Darfur....please consider not only not supporting the Olympics in China, but writing your congressman/woman, writing your friend who is an athlete either in or supporting the Olympics and ask them to reconsider.

For further information see:
  • Human Rights Torch Relay
  • Leading Chinese Lawyer Urges Boycott
  • House Lawmakers Urge Bush to Boycott Olympics
  • China: Lhasa Torch Relay Tarnishes Olympic Movement
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