Bob Fu, Founder and President of ChinaAid | 2019 Democracy Award

My wife and I were both
imprisoned for leading and running a church in
Beijing in 1996. And because of that experience,
we really built a strong conviction that we need to
speak up for those who are persecuted for their faith. We need to let them know they’re
not alone, they’re not isolated. They’re not fighting
by themselves. ♪♪ Our organization mainly
focuses on advancing religious freedom or all faiths. We do this through what we call
the Three E mission: by exposing the abuses of
the persecution, by encouraging the abused, and by equipping the leaders. Through a sophisticated,
reliable network on the ground all over China, we’re able to
document credible information about religious
persecution. We have successfully rescued,
I think over the years, perhaps over 200 of those who
are persecuted, facing imminent life threat, persecuted religious believers,
their family members, and human rights lawyers and
their family members. Religious freedom and human
rights are universal values. It’s not an American or
European value. It’s in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, even the Chinese Communist
Regime subscribes to it. So we need to hold them
accountable for whatever violations they have committed. And we need to tell the
persecutors that by continuing to totally disregard citizens’
basic freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom
of assembly, they should not count on the
international support by treating them as a
responsible stakeholder in any meaningful way. It’s a very humbling and
privileged award for us and it means not only of course
a recognition to our own rather tiny organization
over the years, experience and work in this
field, advancing religious freedom and the rule of
law in China. But also I think a recognition
of the significance and importance of the grassroots
movement in Chinese faithful communities
that they are part of really a very significant group
in the Chinese democratization and freedom
fighting effort. I think we are all very humbled
to recieve this award.

Maurice Vega

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