A persecuted Christian who fled China is now safe in America after the Trump administration reviewed his case.
Ting Xue, who was beaten and imprisoned by Chinese interrogators, escaped his homeland for America. But a federal appeals court bizarrely ruled that it's not religious persecution when a person has to practice their faith in private to avoid punishment.
In May, Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Xue v. Sessions.
But the high court didn't have to rule on the appeal, says PJI attorney Brad Dacus, after Jeff Sessions took over the Department of Justice as attorney general. After re-opening the case, the DOJ remanded it to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which interprets and applies U.S. immigration laws, and which granted asylum to Xue.
An eye-opening story about Xue, published in July by The Weekly Standard, describes how he was arrested as part of an underground church, was forced to sign a pledge to adhere to Communism, but violated that pledge and kept meeting with fellow believers.
The story goes on to explain that a federal judge suggested that Xue was not persecuted for his faith - only restricted to certain conditions.
"The whole point of religious freedom is that you're free to practice as publicly or privately as you see fit. You don't have to stay in the closet that so many countries have succeeded in pushing Christians into," says Dacus. "We are thrilled that the BIA made the right decision to not throw Ting back into the lion's den."
The law firm Munger, Tolles and Olson, LLP represented Ting in this case.
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Though one ministry leader wishes he could say hard times are not ahead for believes in China, he only expects the persecution to get worse.
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