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USCIRF: Chinese Communist Regime Violates Religious Freedom Severely
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) released its 2014 annual report on Wednesday, criticizing the severe violation of religious freedom by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). China is listed as one of the ‘countries of particular concern’. Both Chairwoman and Vice Chairwoman of USCIRF coauthored an article demanding the US government to press Beijing over the persecution of Falun Gong.
Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has identified China as the country of particular concern over religious freedom.
In the USCIRF annual report released on April 30, the Chinese government continues to perpetrate particularly severe violations of religious freedom.
While the Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, the constitution protects only “normal” religious activities, which is not defined.
It said, For Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims, conditions are worse now than at any time in the past decade. Inde¬pendent Catholics and Protestants face arrests, fines, and the shuttering of their places of worship. Practi¬tioners of Falun Gong, as well as other Buddhist, folk religionist, and Protestant groups deemed “supersti¬tious” or “evil cults,” face long jail terms, forced renun¬ciations of faith, and torture in detention.
The government has not sufficiently answered accusations of psychiatric experimentation and organ harvesting. Based on these systematic, egregious, ongoing abuses, USCIRF again recommends that China be designated as a “country of particular concern,” said the report.
Beijing Chinese House Church member Xu Yonghai believes religious freedom is worsening in China according to what his church has experienced.
Xu Yonghai, Beijing Chinese House Church member: “They used to detain us in the police station for a few hours. But this January 24, they arrested us all and send us to Beijing detention center for the whole month. One brother was kept there for 38 days.”
In addition to the arrest and suppression, the CCP also forcibly demolished churches. On April 28, despite more than a month of defending and opposing from Christians both at home and abroad, the CCP demolished the famous Sanjiang church in Wenzhou City, and many other churches and crosses, and drew global outrage.
On April 30, pastors and Christians protested in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles against the religious freedom violations of the CCP. An open letter and a joint statement from pastors around the world were delivered to the Consulate.
Pastor Guo, Overseas Chinese Christian Church: “The open letter asked the Chinese government for an open trial for the ones holding responsibility for the demolition of the Church and an immediate stop to the persecution of Christianity nationwide.”
Meanwhile, USCIRF Chairwoman Swett and Vice Chairwoman Glendon coauthored an article demanding the US government press Beijing over Falun Gong.
The article points out that the Falun Gong – a peaceful movement founded in 1992 and characterized by the practice of meditation exercises and moral precepts; a severely persecuted group from China has quietly marked nearly a decade-and-a-half since the start of a brutal campaign of detention, defamation and public degradation.
It said, “It is time for Washington and the world to take note of its plight.”
Commentator Lan Su indicates that the conflict between the CCP and the people is at a peak. The crackdown on the religious groups and Falun Gong has caused the national anti-persecution against the CCP.
Lan Su, commentator: “Under such conditions, who will assume the social issues caused by suppression of Falun Gong? Who will be responsible for the crimes of persecuting Falun Gong? Everyone in the CCP leadership is fighting against each other in hope to find a scapegoat.”
Lan Su believes that how the CCP will handle the Falun Gong issue serves as the guide as to whether or not religious freedom has improved in China.