Foreign and Military Affairs

China rejects US report on religious freedom

Updated: 2011-05-06 22:17


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BEIJING -- China's religious community on Friday rejected a US commission report accusing China of religious freedom violations, saying its "finger-pointing" practice and "irresponsible remarks" are not in conformity with a religious spirit.

The section with regard to China included in the report is "strongly subjective, full of prejudices, and not true to reality", according to a written consensus released after a joint meeting of the secretary-generals from China's five major religious groups -- Buddhists, Taoists, Islam, Catholics and Protestants.

In an annual report on religious freedom released on April 28, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent, bipartisan US federal government commission, attacked China, saying it found violations of religious freedom in the country.

"What has been described about China in the report is entirely different from what we have observed and experienced," the consensus said.

"Members of the US commission had exchanges with us previously. However, the views in the report are totally different from what they said to us face-to-face in China."

"The practice of saying one thing to a man's face and another behind his back is perplexing," it noted.

"China is is a country under the rule of law and its citizens fully enjoys the freedom of religious beliefs. The development of various religions in China is now better than ever," it said.

"Religious people in China have not been suppressed nor been restricted from normal religious activities," it added.

Religion has a positive image in China and what religious people have done has been recognized and widely respected, according to the consensus.

However, a handful of organizations and individuals, under the guise of religions, have committed crimes, disrupted social order, and undermined ethnic unity, in their attempt to split the motherland and threaten state security, it added.

"Evil cults that are against society and humanity are a desecration to religion. Separatist activities under the disguise of religions have nothing to do with religious freedom," it said.

The Chinese government has dealt with evil cults and cracked down on separatist forces according to law, and such actions are in line with the aspiration of the Chinese religious community, it read.

"We are willing to conduct further exchanges on issues of common concern with people from the religious community in the United States on the basis of equality, friendship and mutual respect," the consensus added.


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