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China: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL7787, tabled on 20 April 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of China about (1) reports of a pastor’s wife who was buried alive during the demolition of a church in Henan Province; (2) the demolition of churches, and the imprisonment and detention of religious leaders; and (3) the disappearance of several Catholic priests in Hebei Province.

Answered on

4 May 2016

We pay close attention to the human rights situation in China. We were concerned by reports that Ding Cuimei was buried alive on 14 April while protesting at the demolition of a church in Henan Province. We intend to raise Ding’s case at the next round of the annual UK-China Human Rights Dialogue.

We are aware of reports of the closure or demolition of churches and that individuals are being harassed or detained for their beliefs. We are aware, too, of reports of the recent disappearance of a number of Catholic priests in Hebei Province, such as Father Yang Jianwei. We are concerned by all instances where the whereabouts of detainees remains undisclosed, and where detainees are held without access to legal counsel or visits from relatives.

We continue to raise the full range of our concerns about freedom of religion and the restrictions placed on Christianity with the Chinese authorities. We also place on record our concerns in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy, published on 21 April, and in updates to it.