Government spy agencies and think tanks say that Christians threaten to mount demonstrations against China's religious freedom violations, while activists could stage protests demanding Beijing to use its oil-buying leverage with Sudan to end the Darfur genocide, according to The Associated Press. Environmentalists are also considered a potential threat if they decide to publicly voice their anger about global warming.
"Demonstrations of all kinds are a concern, including anti-American demonstrations," says a consultant who works for Beijing's Olympic organizers, requesting to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The effort is one of the broadest intelligence-collection drives by Beijing against foreign activist groups. Even though the Games are more than a year away, protests have already been mounted in the United States against the Beijing Olympics. Several demonstrations were held in Washington, D.C. by Christians and human rights activists to urge the U.S. government to press China on its treatment of North Korean refugees using the Olympics as leverage.
"We have to hold China's face to the light and feet to the fire," says Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA. "If the world doesn't stand up and hold China accountable in its policy on repatriation, then it is responsible for the death of thousands every year."
That's why Open Doors-USA announced the "Blanket China in Prayer" initiative, a one-year campaign (from Aug. 8, 2007 to Aug. 8, 2008--the first day of the Beijing Olympics) to pray for spiritual change in China.
Many ministries have plans to reach out during the Olympic Games, but due to security concerns, some Christian organizers can't reveal details of their plans. Some plan to put on cultural and sports events and use them to share about their faith.
The Southern Baptists, for example, will bring thousands of volunteers for humanitarian work, sports clinics, first aid sites, and other projects.
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) -- an international Christian ministry well-known for its Olympic outreaches -- is planning a "2008 Olympics Discipleship Training School" in Brazil next year, after which it will send volunteers to the games.