Pastor protests in China…..um…..yeah……

Okay, I received an email from a friend telling me their former pastor (as in, they no longer go to his church) was protesting in China, during the Olympics, in favor of religious freedom. When I first heard, I was like, “wow, that’s pretty brave – China is a scary place regarding religious freedom!” Then, since my curiosity was peeked, I did a google search.

The following are excerpts from the CBS Denver affiliated site, as written by the Associated Press, and can be found here.

An American pastor checked into upscale hotels in the Olympics host city this week, filmed himself painting two of his rooms with slogans like “Beijing 2008 Our world Our nightmare” and then disappeared. Without paying. Eddie Romero’s unusual protest, now making the rounds on YouTube, shows foreigners can still sneak through the tight security measures China imposed to keep potential troublemakers away from the games. Romero’s friends said the preacher was in hiding, but planned to surrender to Chinese authorities as soon as the Olympics end Aug. 24. They said he began thinking about his elaborate, one-man protest of China’s human-rights abuses when Beijing was selected as the host for the 2008 Olympics seven years ago.

On Tuesday, in a sometimes unsteady hand — he had to teach himself how to paint — the California-based pastor splashed the walls of his two hotel rooms with demands for the release of five Chinese activists. He slashed pillows and staged mock killings with stuffed people propped on the bed, red paint spattered like blood on the headboard.
Romero, who appears to be alone, tells the camera he doesn’t want to disrupt the games. He talks about religious freedom for groups that remain highly sensitive with the Chinese government — Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, the Falun Gong spiritual movement. The protest is heartfelt, said Bob Fu, leader of the Texas-based China Aid Association who is among a group of Romero supporters monitoring the protest from California. “This is not like middle-age crisis, craziness,” Fu said. “He’s very genuine, a caring, loving pastor. And very creative.” Another friend, British-based pastor Tony Thomas, said Romero had no special connection to China, but he had a vision for the project in 2001 after watching Beijing win the right to host the games. Thomas said Romero hatched the protest plan — which he eventually named “The Gadfly Project” — after consulting with a few close friends at his Hacienda Christian Fellowship church and talking with American activists who campaign for Chinese rights.

Okay, I am ALL FOR freedom of speech, human rights, freedom of religion, and would be the first to admit China has some things they could learn. I am not alone. And I praise the strength and bravery for people who stand in the face of oppression such as those that exist in China – and other countries – today. I applaud them. Protests have their place, can be affective……..

But VANDALISM? Destruction of hotel rooms, without paying? Getting the message on YouTube, where I imagine the majority of those in China would not even SEE it, let alone be able to do something about it? And, as a Christian Pastor, who admittedly does not appear to be trying to spread his faith, I think it further damages international views of Americans AND Christians! I think protests should be brave and RESPECTFUL – think of that student that stood in front of the tank……..his message still pops up today! But DISRESPECTING things……hmmmmm, not so sure…..

Am I off here? I would love to hear your opinions because, admittedly, I am reacting here……

Gina OUT

2 thoughts on “Pastor protests in China…..um…..yeah……

  1. Hi, I just stumbled upon your post. I happen to go to his church and I’ll be the first to admit that his methods were extremely unconventional and at the end of the day, wrong. However, I happen to believe it was just the sort of thing that got their attention. Sure there are better ways to bring attention to these matters but would they have been effective? Whatever happened to that guy that climbed that pole with a protest banner the same day? He’s been forgotten about. We’re now about 2 weeks since the protest but those youtube vids are at 40,000 views. Letters are still getting sent out by the thousands addressing these human rights matters. Sure alot of people are against it but the issue is being talked about. I even read that although many people are outright against it, they’re still sending their letters of protest.

    Anyway, this is one of those super sticky things that is hot to the touch and uncomfortable to look at. I know that many of our celebrated moments in the founding of our country were also unconventional, ie., Boston Tea Party, yet they were necessary. I guess there are things we could take with a grain of salt. I sincerely hope that people would speak up about the gross human rights abuses rather than being stuck gazing at his chosen method of choice in relaying his message.

    I was asked in one forum if a Muslim came to America and did the same thing, how would I react.. My response was, “if his message was true, and was desperately needed, than I would side with him.”

    I also know that from the get-go, it’s been said that he would eventually pay for the damages.

    Sticky stuff eh?

  2. This is completely insane. I do not know what gives Americans sense of superiority. People like Eddie just showed to the world how childish, ugly, close-minded Americans are. As a by product, we also rediscovered how mindless the western press really is. The same story is copied word-by-word as long as you pay for the press-release service.

    Where is Eddie when the Native Americans are being wiped out by the day as a race? They are not citizens so they are not protected by US laws?

    Where is Eddie when basic human rights of Guantanamo prisoners are being violated every day? If you are so cared about unlawful jailing, why do you ignore the more severe problems in the USA?

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