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China: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 8892, tabled on 4 September 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions his Department has had with its Chinese counterpart on the religious persecution of Christians in that country.

Answered on

14 September 2015

We believe that Freedom of Religion or Belief is a fundamental human right, and its promotion and protection is a priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. People of all faiths should be free to practice their religion according to their beliefs, free from persecution.

I remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity in China. We are aware of the closure or demolition of churches, and the removal of crosses from buildings, particularly in Zhejiang Province. We are also aware of reports that individuals are harassed or detained for practicing their beliefs.

We raised these, and the broad range of our concerns around religious freedom, directly with Chinese officials during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in April. We also continue to highlight them publicly in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy (www.hrdreport.fco.gov.uk). We will continue to discuss our concerns with China as part of the wider bilateral relationship.