The fourth annual Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award celebrates an outstanding leader who is working to advance freedom of religion or belief by standing up to oppression in the pursuit of freedom of religion, belief, or conscience. This award is named for Congressman Frank Wolf, the House’s “Champion of Human Rights” and “Conscience of Congress.” Wolf served Virginia’s 10th District for 17 terms followed by five years as Distinguished Senior Fellow at 21Wilberforce. In 2022 he was appointed as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
21Wilberforce Founder and President, Dr. Randel Everett, announced that the 2022 honoree is Bob Fu, Founder and President of ChinaAid. The 2022 laureate will be recognized at a dinner to be held in Dallas on October 17, 2022.
In a tribute to Fu, Congressman Wolf offered familiar words from singer/songwriter Bob Dylan: “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” Wolf added, “This certainly holds true for Bob Fu. He and his wife, Heidi, fled to the United States as religious refugees in 1997, and five years later they founded ChinaAid to bring international attention to China’s gross human rights violations. Since that time, Bob has probably done more to help people facing religious persecution in China than anyone else I know of. I very much appreciate his great work.”
Bob knows the cost that comes to those who stand up to an oppressive government like China. In 1997, Bob and his wife, Heidi, fled to Hong Kong where they lived for 8 months, after which the United States granted them political asylum.
Bob began to serve as an associate pastor at Mid-Cities in Midland, Texas, while he continued to do advocacy work in D.C. and at the UN, as well as training house church pastors and human rights lawyers in the Asia-Pacific. In 2002, Bob founded ChinaAid after he heard that five Chinese house church leaders were sentenced to death in China for their religious practices.
For 20 years, ChinaAid has brought international attention to China’s gross human rights violations. With a small staff and loyal supporters, Bob has tirelessly promoted religious freedom and rule of law in China.
“Bob Fu is courageous and relentless in his support of those persecuted for their faith. He instills fear in the Chinese Communist Party as he exposes their abuse of Christians, Uyghurs, and other people of faith,” said 21Wilberforce’s Randel Everett. “Dr. Fu has earned the confidence of political and religious leaders with his accurate reports and effective strategies. The Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award is the highest honor 21Wilberforce bestows each year for one who follows the examples of William Wilberforce and Congressman Frank Wolf as a voice for the voiceless. We are honored to recognize Dr. Bob Fu as our 2022 recipient.”