The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) joins Christians around the world in advocating for the Chinese Christian leaders who are still awaiting permission to travel to the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa.
The NAE, which represents 45,000 churches from over 40 different denominations and serves a constituency of millions, calls on the Chinese government to lift its restrictions and uphold religious freedom and the right to travel. The travel ban violates the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “every person has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
“This is surprising and disappointing,” said NAE President Leith Anderson, who will be attending the gathering in Cape Town. “The People’s Republic of China has recently welcomed dialogue with international Christians. I expected the Chinese to celebrate their presence and influence at Cape Town 2010 with delegations from 200 countries. I hope this is just a bureaucratic misunderstanding that will quickly be resolved so that China won’t be the only country left out.”
The Lausanne Congress will bring together 4,000 global leaders next week to discuss the future of the Church and world evangelization. More than 230 Chinese delegates were expected to attend.
The NAE also calls on its members to pray for their brothers and sisters in China and for the Chinese government to lift travel restrictions for the Cape Town gathering.