Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Now in U.S.
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 May 21
Human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, a month after escaping house arrest in China, arrived Saturday evening in the United States after a flight from Beijing, CNN reports. Traveling with Chen were his wife and two children. Less than two hours after he arrived, the blind 40-year-old activist spoke from New York University, where he will participate in a fellowship. "I am very grateful to the assistance of the American Embassy and the promise of the Chinese government for protection of my rights as a citizen over the long term," Chen said, indicating through a translator that the U.S. government granted him partial citizenship rights. "I am very gratified to see the Chinese government has been dealing with the situation with restraint and calm." He said he was looking forward to recuperating in "body and spirit," though he expressed mixed feelings about leaving unfinished business at home. The self-taught lawyer angered Chinese officials for fighting the nation's one-child policy and exposing more than 100,000 forced abortions; he spent four years in prison and was then held under abusive house arrest for 18 more months until his escape April 22. He asked people to work with him to "promote justice and fairness in China."