Roger Marsh: Dating back to the late 1970s, communist China has become the world's most notorious perpetrator of gendercide. Gendercide is the practice of forcing a family to abort a child who is born of the, quote unquote, "wrong" gender, in this case meaning a girl. As a result, the precious lives of over 400 million babies have been snuffed out due to the one and then two child policies that China has put in place.
Today here on Family Talk on a special addition to the program, we're going to continue talking about these senseless murders through part two of Doctor Tim Clinton's conversation with Reggie Littlejohn. Reggie Littlejohn is the founder of an organization called Women's Rights Without Frontiers. On yesterday's broadcast, she described how China forces many women to abort an expected girl or a third child because of their laws. In just a moment, she will lay out for Doctor Tim Clinton what her organization is doing to save these women.
Now, before we begin, let me tell you a little bit more about the ministry of Reggie Littlejohn. She is a prominent voice for international human rights, as I mentioned, the founder of Women's Rights Without Frontiers. She graduated from Yale Law School and acts as a public policy fellow at Notre Dame. She has testified many times before Congress, the United Nations, and many European parliaments. Reggie Littlejohn has also delivered various keynote speeches at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, and The Heritage Foundation.
As was the case with yesterday's program, the broadcast you're about to hear is intended for mature audiences. Parents with young children listening may want to occupy them elsewhere for the next half hour or so. With that, let's listen in now for the conclusion of Doctor Tim Clinton's fascinating interview with Reggie Littlejohn here on Family Talk.
Dr. Clinton: Reggie, great to have you back on Family Talk. What a fascinating program we had yesterday, and I want to jump right back into our discussion around China and, again, that passion that God's given to you for this country. Reggie, let's get started with the ministry that you are leading. Some would say, "Listen, discussions about China, it's fascinating, I can't believe that's happening over there, but it's over there," but God is at work. We left our listeners with that theme in our last broadcast.
I want you to tell a little bit about how the needle is getting moved. What specific things are being done that you're seeing that really encourage your heart that says, "Listen, we need an army, a battalion of people to step into this moment with us and let's make a difference in China and around the globe"?
Reggie Littlejohn: Well, the needle is being moved in a couple of ways. One is, as I mentioned yesterday, when China moved from a one child policy to a two child policy, they cited two reasons. One is demographics, and the other was international pressure.
Dr. Clinton: Pressure.
Reggie Littlejohn: Since I have been dedicating my life to creating international pressure on this, I felt wonderful about moving the needle through that pressure. The second way the needle is moving is that in our Save A Girl campaign, we are finding it ... We are literally saving, and I'll tell you how we do it, but we're literally saving the lives of baby girls from sex elective abortion and abandonment, as well as girls who are so impoverished that they're at risk. But in terms of the sex elective abortion and abandonment, it's getting harder to find girls in our area because we have moved the needle in the culture simply by supporting these girls, and I'd be happy to tell you exactly how we do that.
Dr. Clinton: I'd love to hear that, because I read recently the three most dangerous words in the world, "it's a girl."
Reggie Littlejohn: Right. Right, it's a girl. That's a film that I was in. I served as one of the experts on the one child policy in that film. "It's a girl." When those words are uttered, more people die than any other three words that are uttered because that's when the woman signs herself up for an abortion, when she finds out that she's carrying a girl.
The way that we work is that we are the only organization in the world that has an actual network inside of China in a rural area in China. I can't say where it is because-
Dr. Clinton: Sure.
Reggie Littlejohn: We don't want the Chinese authorities to come and shut us down, right? We can't say where it is, but we can tell you that we are in rural China. Through our network, we will find out if a woman who has gone to a local clinic or a hospital and has gotten an ultrasound and sees that she is pregnant with a girl and then scheduled herself for an abortion, or if we hear through the grapevine of our network that a woman is being pressured by her family to have an abortion because she's carrying a girl or to give up her daughter once she's born. We will actually go to her door, and this is not American's going to the door, okay? These are Chinese nationals, people who are local to that area, which is how we're able to fly under the radar screen of the Chinese government.
Dr. Clinton: Sure.
Reggie Littlejohn: I mean, if I went over there, we would immediately be-
Dr. Clinton: Yeah. They'd be shipping you out or locking you up.
Reggie Littlejohn: Right, and the entire network would be exposed. These are people who are local people, go to the door of a woman who we know is pregnant with a girl who's being pressured by her family to abort or abandon her daughter, and we will say, "Congratulations on your baby girl. Girls are as good as boys, and we will give you a monthly stipend for a year to empower you to keep your daughter."
Dr. Clinton: Really?
Reggie Littlejohn: Yes, and we are able to do that. I'm able to get money into China every month, and I'm not going to say how, okay, but I'm able to get money into China every month and get it to these women, so we have a very high success rate. What this does is it, number one, it's the first time that these rural Chinese women have ever heard the message that girls are as good as boys. That's not a message that you hear in rural China.
Dr. Clinton: That's almost stunning to me. I mean-
Reggie Littlejohn: Yeah.
Dr. Clinton: But I can see it.
Reggie Littlejohn: Then secondly, the funds, the $25 a month for a year, and a lot of times it lasts more than a year, is enough for her to be able to ... That's some decent money in rural China. That's enough for her to go to her husband and to her in-laws and say, "Look, I can't abort. I can't abandon this baby girl. She's a lucky girl. Look, she's already bringing money into the family." We use almost like the superstition around luck to combat son preference, and we have saved hundreds of baby girls this way.
Dr. Clinton: Saving babies.
Reggie Littlejohn: All our efforts are worthwhile if we save one, and we've saved hundreds.
Dr. Clinton: What an amazing ministry. You guys are also involved in saving widows.
Reggie Littlejohn: Yes. The same network that is saving babies, I was reading and thinking about these widows, and I said, "Do we have abandoned widows in our area?" And the field worker said, "Yes, yes. Many, many, many." This is the situation with the widows that nobody thinks about. Widows I call the invisible victims of the one child policy. In the past, in this rural area, these farming areas, a couple would have a lot of kids and grandkids, and then when they got old, this extended family would take care of them. Now under the one child policy, they don't have an extended family to take care of them. Their husband has died, and a lot of times he has died by an expensive illness like cancer or heart disease, so the widow is left with no support because her husband has died and also she's left with a mountain of medical bills, so she's completely destitute and she is completely abandoned.
Now, China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world, according to one UN estimate, or I think it was a World Bank estimate. There's like 590 women a day end their lives in China. In the Chinese countryside, three times the number of women as men end their lives.
Dr. Clinton: Really?
Reggie Littlejohn: The senior suicide rate in China has skyrocketed 500% in the last 20 years in conjunction with the one child policy, because these seniors, they're just left destitute. They don't have the extended family to support them like they used to.
Our same field workers that can go to the families of these babies go to the widows and say basically, "You're a human being created in the image of God, and we're here to help you." These women almost don't believe it, because no one in communist China just says "you're created in the image of God and we want to help you." They say, "Well, what do you want in return for this?" We say, "What we want in return is we want you to know that you're loved, and we want you to be able to eat every day."
A lot of these people are coming to faith. Our network in China are very serious Christians. Unlike the Chinese government that's trying to stamp down people's faith, we don't put any restrictions on what they say to people. Like at Christmas, we give everybody the Chinese equivalent of $10 extra as a Christmas gift and also as an Easter gift, and our network goes and says, "Here's a Christmas gift of an extra," however many yuan, and then the widows or the mothers will say, "Well, what's Christmas?" Then they get to explain the Christmas story. Same thing at Easter. "What's Easter?" They get to explain the resurrection of our Lord. A lot of these women are coming to faith because we have authority to talk to them because we're not just going in there and just evangelizing. We're saving them, and they understand that this is coming out of a faith perspective.
Dr. Clinton: Do you mind talking about the underground church? Is it alive and well and strong? You hear all kinds of stories, but what have you seen?
Reggie Littlejohn: Well, there's the underground Protestant Church and there's the underground Catholic Church. Both of them are heavily persecuted. The Chinese government is persecuting all religions, and what Xi Jinping, who's like a dictator who's made himself king or emperor, he has gotten rid of term limits so he's basically dictator for life, and he is doing something called the Sinicization of religions. In other words, turning all religions to be Chinese. What does that mean? In both the Catholic Church and in the Protestant Church, there are instances of crosses being torn down, of churches being torn down, of Ten Commandments being ripped off the wall and being replaced by Xi Jinping thought, of religious images being taken down, like a religion image of Jesus, an image of Mary being taken down and replaced by an image of Xi Jinping, an image of Chairman Mao. There are reports of surveillance cameras in the churches.
In terms of the Catholic Church, which is a special concern of mine because I'm Catholic, there was a deal between the Vatican and the Chinese government that came through in October of 2018 that was supposed to be about unifying the churches, and what it has done is it has resulted in the great persecution of Catholics in China, including ripping down shrines, Catholic shrines, ripping down churches, jailing pastors, et cetera. One of the biggest problems about this deal is that it's secret, so that the Chinese government has been telling the Christians, "Your own Pope has said that this is okay," and they use the secrecy of the deal to really persecute the Catholics in China, and it's getting worse and worse.
Dr. Clinton: Persecution of believers has always been, they say, the seed of the church.
Reggie Littlejohn: That's right.
Dr. Clinton: Meaning when persecution begins to soar, faith seems to go deeper.
Reggie Littlejohn: That's right.
Dr. Clinton: You know that. I just wonder about the work of God in this hour and how we need to pray earnestly. We need people showing up on the front lines being encouragement to them in this moment.
Reggie Littlejohn: Right. Yeah. It's the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.
Dr. Clinton: Yes.
Reggie Littlejohn: This is one of the hallmarks of Christianity is that the harder people are persecuted, the more faith spreads-
Dr. Clinton: And goes deeper.
Reggie Littlejohn: Yes, and it goes way deeper because it's costly. It's not cheap grace, like Bonhoeffer wrote about. It's costly, costly faith. I believe that we need to pray hard for the Christians in China, both Protestant and Catholic, and I believe that when they come through this intense time of persecution that they are going to be some of the strongest Christians in the world, because they have had to stand firm in their faith despite terrible persecution.
Dr. Clinton: You're listening to Family Talk, a production of the Doctor James Dobson Family Institute. I'm your host, Doctor Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors and executive director of the James Dobson Family Institute. Thanks for joining us, and thanks for supporting us and our team here at Family Talk. To find out more about our ministry, what God's doing in and through this organization, visit us, will you, at drjamesdobson.org. Drjamesdobson.org.
I'm speaking today with Reggie Littlejohn. She's no stranger to the pro-life movement. She's an activist, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers. We've got an amazing story going on. It's about her passion and love for China. By the way, not just a love, it's a love that's engaged and is making a difference. She's showing up. They're saving babies. They're encouraging people in the faith, and they're seeing things happen in China. We need to be concerned and we need to care about the world.
Reggie, I'm so encouraged by your story. It puts conviction in my heart. It really does. You know that? I was reading about David in his final conversation with his son Solomon where he told Solomon, "I go the way of the earth." You know that. He was telling Solomon to show himself a man and to step into this moment of life. I think about the word there where it says, "And when God had accomplished all his purposes in David's life, he fell asleep."
We're here for a reason. We're not here to hang out. We're not here ... I mean, I enjoy relaxation and maybe getting a little beach time or something, but we're not here to lay on the beach. Enjoy God's creation, sure, but we're called to a mission. We're called to a purpose, and God is, I really believe, at work. He's calling us in this hour, in this moment, to do something. Thank you for what you're doing.
It's interesting. On a personal level, you have a couple of daughters. I want you to share a little bit about that, because this brings your story really to life for me. You're in the midst of it.
Reggie Littlejohn: Right. Thank you for asking. Yes. We talk about we're saving girls in China, but we're also saving Chinese girls around our own kitchen table. We have a daughter named Anni and another daughter named Rita. They came as a 10-year-old and a 19-year-old. They're now 17 and 25. Their story is that they are the daughters of a very famous Chinese dissident named Zhang Lin, who was trained as a nuclear physicist but he decided that he was going to give up what could have been a life of privilege in order to become a leader in the Tiananmen Square movement in his province, Anhui province. When he did that, he became jailed, tortured many times over, horribly, horribly, horribly mistreated, and was still brave enough to continue to speak out against the corruption of the Chinese Communist Party.
Dr. Clinton: Wow.
Reggie Littlejohn: When they could not silence him by directly persecuting him, they actually kidnapped his daughter Anni as a 10 year old out of her fourth grade classroom.
Dr. Clinton: Wow.
Reggie Littlejohn: Anni is known as China's a youngest prisoner of conscience. Long story short, he knew he was going to go back into detention and he got word out to me saying, "Could you please help me get Anni out of China and into the United States? She can't lead a normal life here." A number of extremely brave people helped Anni and her older sister Lily get out of China, and I worked with people in the United States to help get them status here, and we got them here in 2012.
Lily is now 25. She's just the most successful person, and I'm more than happy. Lily, she calls herself Rita now. She just changed her name. But anyway, she's an extremely successful person. Anni just turned 17 and actually has played piano in Carnegie Hall, another extremely successful person. Anni was almost a victim of forced abortion, because she was her father's second child and her father and her mother had to fight for her life that she would not be forcibly aborted. She to me and her oldest sister are just beautiful living examples of the love, and the beauty, and the magnificence of the baby girls that are being lost in China to sex elective abortion.
Dr. Clinton: Wow. You have a lot going on. Those listening are probably saying, "Hey. Well, I'm a stay-at-home mom. I drive a truck. I'm a professor," or whatever. "How can we step into this moment?" What can people of faith do? I know you try to encourage people to get involved. Activism's important. I'm going to ask you about what can we do on a personal level and then maybe a policy level or whatever. I mean, are there two spheres I guess maybe we could move in that we could be facilitative and supportive of the work that you're doing and the work that's going on in China?
Reggie Littlejohn: Well, number one is pray. The number one prayer is that God will continue to hide our network under the shadow of his wing. People say, "What kind of encounters with the authorities have you had?" We haven't had any encounters with the authorities. Thank you, Jesus. Please, like anybody listening right now, just shoot up a prayer right now. God continue to hide that network under the shadow of your wings.
Dr. Clinton: I was going to just interject. As a boy, we used to drive to school on the school bus, and my dad was a pastor. To supplement our income, Reggie, he would drive a secondary school bus, pick up kids in the rural country roads and bring them out to the hard roads where the big yellow bus would pick them up, okay? There was a place where, when I was on the yellow bus, I got on early, we would drive by where my dad's last bus stop was and we would see him, usually with his Bible open on his steering wheel, and he would spend time there meditating. I remember asking my dad, I said, "Dad, what do you do there?" He said, "Tim, usually what I do is I pray for all of you kids. That's what I do."
My dad throughout his life was a real man of prayer. One of the things I miss most about him was him praying for me every day. He'd pick up the phone and call me. When you talk about praying, to me it's personal at that level, because prayer does matter. It really moves the needle. The older I get, it's like the more I pray. It's like Luther. I mean, it's so significant, and I don't want it to be trite here today. We need to be praying about your work, and we need to be praying about God's work in China and around the globe. We will pray. What else can we do?
Reggie Littlejohn: Okay. My website, I wish I had named it something shorter, but my website is womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org. Womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org. You can go on my website. You can sign the petition against forced abortion in China, okay? That's something that the US government needs to up the pressure on the Chinese government to end that. Then you can also directly support our work-
Dr. Clinton: Because we're saving babies.
Reggie Littlejohn: Right., right.
Dr. Clinton: That's what we're talking about here.
Reggie Littlejohn: Right.
Dr. Clinton: We're saving babies.
Reggie Littlejohn: Right.
Dr. Clinton: You're saving babies.
Reggie Littlejohn: Right. Then the second thing is if you want to actually help save a baby, as soon as you get onto my website, to the right there's two buttons, it's called save a girl, save a widow. If you press on save a girl, you will see our page about the Save A Girl campaign. You can support that if you want. It's the only way that you can actually get resources into the hands of a woman to help her save her daughter. Or Save A Widow, you can donate there and that's the only way that you can actually get funds into the hands of a suffering widow so that she can eat, or she can heat her little tiny room, or whatever else she needs on a desperate basis. Those are things that you can do.
Dr. Clinton: Saving babies, saving widows.
Reggie Littlejohn: Yeah.
Dr. Clinton: What an amazing ministry. Let me give you kind of the final word, Reggie. I want to pass it back to you. Again, I want this to become very personal for all of us. I go back to where we started on our very first broadcast. Here's a 16-year-old wrestling, and "I'm an atheist," but God was working. People can feel the tug of the Holy Spirit in their life. People are feeling an urgency to make their life count, their voice count. We're in a moment, and we're in a movement by the way, where we're trying to give a voice to the voiceless and more. I'm going to give that to you. Speak to us. What wakes you up in the middle of the night, and what do you want to say to people in this hour?
Reggie Littlejohn: I guess something I would like to say to people in this hour is, like Mother Teresa said, we are not called to be successful. We're called to be faithful and to listen to God and what God is asking you to do. Another thing that Mother Teresa said was it doesn't matter what you accomplish. It matters how much love you put into what you accomplish.
Another thing she said is that if she had known that what God was doing was starting this enormous international order, she would never have had the courage to even take the first step. Her first step was to pick up a dying man off the street.
What I would say to each person is every one of us, as you have said, has a call on our lives. We are here for a purpose, and everybody needs to be doing something. It's not enough to say, "Oh, my gosh. There's so much going on in the world. What can I do? I'm not going to do any-"
Dr. Clinton: "I can't go to China," or whatever.
Reggie Littlejohn: Yeah. Well, I can't go to China either. Guess what? If I went there, I'd be detained immediately. Yet, I'm doing a lot of stuff that's relevant to China, that's helping China. But I'm just saying, say a prayer right now. Like I said, say, "God, break my heart for whatever breaks your heart," and be open to that and take action on whatever that is. It could be something as simple as helping your next door neighbor when they're sick. It's got to be something, okay?
There's got to be something every day, because this world is - every single person in this world… Somebody once said, "You touch any house and it bleeds." Any one of your neighbors, anyone in your church, if you listen, there is going to be a need there that you can meet. We are all called every day to spread the grace of God to those that we know and to those that we don't know. You don't forget the people in China, because these truly are the voiceless because they can't say anything. If they say anything, they'll be detained. Because we know what's going on and because we have freedom of speech, I feel morally responsible that I have to say something because they can't. Truly a voice for the voiceless.
Dr. Clinton: God help us to step into our Judeas, our Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world. Reggie, what a delightful conversation. Know that we will pray for you and the amazing work that God's doing, and may God do something where only he could get the glory and the credit, not only in China. I know you have eyes for the world too. Thanks for joining us.
Reggie Littlejohn: Thank you.
Roger Marsh: Well, and with that we conclude a very enlightening conversation about the horrors of the two child policy that is destroying the people of China. I'm Roger Marsh, and I want to echo that point that Reggie Littlejohn made just a moment ago here on Family Talk. As free Americans and believers in Jesus Christ, we have an obligation to fight for those who are being oppressed right now. Our savior throughout his ministry sought out ways to help those in need, and we must have that same heart as well.
Now, you can learn more about Reggie Littlejohn's organization, Women's Rights Without Frontiers, when you go to today's broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org. Once you're there, you can also request a physical copy of this full, two-part interview. Simply tap on the order a CD button to see how easy it is to receive this powerful interview. You'll find all this information and more when you visit the broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org.
Well, we've come to the end of our week of programming here on Family Talk. Be sure to join us again on Monday for more uplifting and encouraging broadcasts. Thanks so much for listening and for supporting the ministry of Doctor Dobson and the James Dobson Family Institute. Have a safe and blessed weekend, everyone, from all of us here at Family Talk.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Doctor James Dobson Family Institute.
Dr. Dobson: This is James Dobson again. As we close today's program, I just want to thank so many of you out there who make this broadcast possible with your contributions, and I want to tell you how much your generosity is appreciated.