The founder of Chinese Christian human rights group China Aid, Pastor Bob Fu, is in hiding with his family this week following calls by a Chinese billionaire to kill him and a “protest” outside his Texas home.
Guo Wengui, an alleged real estate mogul with a history of close ties to the Chinese Communist Party prior to his public defection, rebranded himself in 2017 as a “dissident” ready to expose the corruption and criminal behavior of his former allies. Working out of a luxury Manhattan penthouse on a tourist visa, Guo built up a following as a blogger and video content creator under the alias “Miles Kwok.” He has since established a media company named GTV that he uses to disseminate Mandarin-language videos featuring his political commentary. A Wall Street Journal report published in August revealed that federal authorities are investigating how Guo generated $300 million for the GTV project and at least two major banks have frozen assets related to it.
Through GTV, China Aid asserted, Guo has begun to personally target Fu, claiming he is a Communist Party plant infiltrating the Christian exile community. GTV appears to have first targeted Fu in January, accusing him of “human trafficking,” a claim for which no public evidence exists.
Fu is the founder of China Aid, a nonprofit that offers support to persecuted Chinese Christians and raises awareness regarding specific acts by the Communist Party to erase Christianity from the country. Estimates suggest China is home to as many as 97 million Christians, more than the number of formal members of the Communist Party.
Fu and his wife are former political prisoners, imprisoned in 1996 for openly practicing Christianity (“illegal evangelism”); Fu personally participated in the June 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The pastor commonly attends events in favor of religious freedom in China and has not been the focus of any significant controversy in his career as an activist.
According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Fu’s hometown newspaper, an independent translation of several Guo GTV videos show that he has openly called for his followers to kill Fu. Guo reportedly called for a “global kill cheaters campaign” to kill people like Fu, who he claimed was a communist.
“We will fully support our comrades who take actions to kill those cheaters,” Guo said.
Some appear to have responded to Guo’s call. A mob of Guo fans appeared in front of Fu’s home in late September, a week after Guo released his first rap single, and then again on Monday. In a statement, China Aid explained the situation.
“China Aid Association acknowledges and denounces the accusations and calls for violence against President and Founder, Pastor Bob Fu. On September 26, 2020, protesters arrived outside of Fu’s house. He was out of town, but his wife and children were home,” the statement read. “Since then, the number of protestors has continued to increase as well as the calls for violence. On Monday, October 5, it escalated when a bus of over 50 protesters showed up outside his home.”
“I pray God uses this threat to expose the Chinese Communist’s agenda to destroy Christianity. Americans in general and Christians specifically need to know what is really happening in China and now even here in the USA. Please pray for me and my family,” Fu said in a statement regarding the incident.
Midland Reporter-Telegram confirmed the consistent presence of alleged protesters in front of Fu’s house on Monday. Attempts to ask them who they were or where they came from were largely a dead end, the newspaper reported. Some protesters reportedly denied that they arrived together despite the overt presence at the site of a large bus, which they all dismounted from. The newspaper did not report any acts of violence.
NBC affiliate News West 9 described the alleged protesters as “hired protesters.”
GTV applauded the protesters as “common people who have never committed any crime in their lives” in its coverage and appeared to attempt to accuse Midland police of brutality, claiming the protesters were “tightly handcuffed.”
Midland Mayor Patrick Payton appears to be taking Fu’s side. In a press conference on Tuesday, Payton referred to the protesters as “communist agitators.”
“There’s some interesting things that have been transpiring here in the city related to, well there is essentially some communist agitators who have been making threats, not veiled threats, but aggressive threats towards Bob Fu and his family, towards ChinaAid,” Payton explained to reporters.
“The most important part about Bob Fu’s relationship is what he has done to gather people for the freedom of those who’ve been persecuted far beyond just brothers and sisters in Christ as he has advocated for Muslims, he has advocated for all religions, and he’s advocated for secular artists who are getting censored for their work in China as well,” Payton asserted, saying that the local government would support him.
Payton also referred to the mob as “hired henchpeople.”
The FBI and CIA are involved in an investigation into the threats against Fu, Payton said.
In an interview with the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Fu said that he did not have any personal relationship with Guo or any reason to have expected the calls for his killing.
“It’s like a rollercoaster,” Fu, reportedly sounding stunned, told the local newspaper. “I think that this is a wake-up call for us, knowing that we need to be vigilant and not take our freedom for granted.”
From his undisclosed location, Fu has been defending his reputation by posting videos of Guo Wengui openly affirming his loyalty to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping. In one video, allegedly from 2017, a man who appears to be Guo is seen saying, “I sincerely hope that I can work for my country to promote my ideas to serve under President Xi to contribute to President Xi’s China dream and some great mighty works.” Breitbart News could not independently corroborate the source of the video.
The ring leader Miles Kwok (Guo Wengui) publicly pledges his eagerness to serve CCP dictator Xi Jinping. He is the one sending his “global elimination campaign against enemies” including myself. YouTube link: https://t.co/32F6j26V9y pic.twitter.com/vbJrmgkbbL
— Bob Fu傅希秋 (@BobFu4China) October 7, 2020
Guo is facing charges at home of bribery, kidnapping, fraud, money laundering, and sexual assault, which he denies. President Donald Trump reportedly considered deporting Guo in 2017 but ultimately opted against it.