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China and North Korea

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 222294, tabled on 27 January 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the level of persecution of Christians in (a) China and (b) North Korea.

Answered on

3 February 2015

Although Protestantism and Catholicism are state-sanctioned religions, we are concerned that practitioners continue to face restrictions on their religious rights. We are aware of reports which state that churches have been demolished, forcibly closed, or had their crosses removed, including in Zhejiang Province. Practitioners of house churches also continue to face harassment. We raised our concerns in detail during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in May 2014, and continue to do so as part of our broader relationship.

According to authorities in the DPRK, there are a small number of state-controlled churches and some other state-sanctioned places of worship, including 500 house churches. We are unable to verify these statistics or to attest to the type of activity that takes places inside these house churches. However, there are many reports that people who are involved in religion outside these state-controlled organisations have been imprisoned for practising their beliefs. We regularly raise with the DPRK authorities our concerns about all restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, including reports of persecution of Christians.