View Full Version : U.S. 2007 International Religious Freedom Report on China

14-09-07, 15:00
International Religious Freedom Report 2007 on China

Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

The Constitution states that citizens enjoy freedom of religious belief and the freedom not to believe in any religion. The Constitution limits protection of the exercise of religious belief to activities which it defines as "normal." The Constitution states that religious bodies and affairs are not to be "subject to any foreign domination." The law also prohibits proselytism.

The Government restricted religious practice largely to government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship and controlled growth and scope of activities of both registered and unregistered religious groups, including "house churches." The Government tried to control and regulate the growth of religious groups that could constitute sources of authority outside of the control of the Government and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Nonetheless, membership in many religious groups was growing rapidly.

During the period covered by this report, the Government's respect for freedom of religion remained poor, especially for religious groups and spiritual movements that are not registered with the Government. The Government expelled several foreign citizens on charges of conducting "illegal religious activities" by proselytizing in the spring of 2007. According to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), religious organizations, and house church groups, over one hundred were expelled. The Government also questioned house church leaders about connections with foreigners and plans to disrupt the Olympics. Some of these groups alleged that these incidents were part of a coordinated government campaign to repress religious expression. The Government also continued to emphasize the role of religion in building a "Harmonious Society," which was a positive development with regard to the Government’s respect for religious freedom.

Members of many unregistered religious groups of various faiths reported that the Government subjected them to restrictions, including intimidation, harassment, and detention. Some unregistered religious groups were pressured to register as "meeting points" of government-sanctioned "patriotic" religious associations (PRAs) linked to the five main religions--Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. The treatment of unregistered groups varied significantly from region to region.

Religious worship in officially sanctioned and unregistered places of worship continued to grow throughout the country. The extent of religious freedom varied widely within the country. For example, officials in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) tightly controlled religious activity, while elsewhere in the country Muslims enjoyed greater religious freedom. Despite Government statements that minors are free to receive religious training that does not interfere with their secular education, authorities in some areas of Xinjiang failed to enforce these protections and reportedly prevented minors from receiving religious education outside the home. Followers of Tibetan Buddhism, including in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas of the country (see separate appendix), also faced more restrictions on their religious practice and ability to organize than Buddhists in other parts of the country.



14-09-07, 15:27
Where can I find UHRP's annual reports on Human Rights in East Turkistan?