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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL11543, tabled on 19 November 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking in response to the arrest by Chinese security agents on 5 March 2017 of John Cao, a Christian pastor and humanitarian worker, and his subsequent imprisonment in China.

Answered on

3 December 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is concerned by the arrest and detention of John Cao and will raise his case at the next round of the UK/China Human Rights Dialogue. We remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity and other religions in China, that include individuals being harassed or detained for their beliefs. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy. We believe that societies which aim to guarantee freedom of religion or belief are more stable, prosperous and resilient against violent extremism.

We are robust in raising the full range of our human rights concerns with the Chinese authorities. We raised our concerns over restriction of freedom of religion or belief as part of China’s Universal Periodic Review in November 2018, and in our 27 June 2018 statement at the UN Human Rights Council.