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US Report: China Continues 'Severe' Oppression of Religions

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

NTD Television 05-01-2013

The Chinese regime continues to severely violate the freedom of thought, conscience and belief. That was the assessment in the 2013 report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, released on April 30.

For the 13th year in a row, China has been named as a “Country of Particular Concern”. And the conditions for religions in China have, quote, “deteriorated significantly.”

The report identifies four groups of people who are suppressed by the Chinese regime: Tibetan Buddhists, underground Protestants and Catholics, Muslims and Falun Gong practitioners.

Speaking over skype, Christian rights activist Bob Fu says that the persecution of Christians and Catholics who refuse to worship in state-sanctioned churches has not diminished over the past year.

[Bob Fu, Founder, China Aid]:
“As to the situation in the underground Catholic church, it’s also being targeted by the Chinese government and especially to those bishops and clergymen and also members of those non, so called “non-patriotic churches” which means they are faithful to the bible and accept the leadership of the Pope.”

The US report highlights the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice as “some of the most intense and violent.” Many practitioners are imprisoned, tortured and killed in forced labor camps. But the situation, at least among Chinese citizens, may be changing.

[Erping Zhang, Spokesperson, Falun Dafa Info Center]:
“More and more people learn about the facts and the truth of the persecution and what Falun Gong is all about and so in China we have seen a lot of citizens making public appeals for Falun Gong practitioners.”

The report documents more than 106 Tibetans who have taken their lives since 2011 to protest the Chinese regime’s policies towards Tibet. 52 of the victims were Buddhist monks and nuns calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, the 11th Panchen Lama and freedom of religious expression for Tibetans.

[Alistair Currie, Spokesperson, Free Tibet]:
“China needs to realize that Buddhism is central to Tibetan culture and any attempts to repress it are going to fail and are simply going to generate more protest and more resistance.”

The US report calls for international pressure at all levels of government and a commitment to put religious freedom as a pillar of the US-China relationship.

"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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