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China: Religious Buildings

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL9076, tabled on 5 July 2023

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compatibility with human rights of the reported "sinicization" of mosques and churches in China.

Answered on

20 July 2023

The environment for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) across China is restrictive, including the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Falun Gong practitioners. We are aware of reports of religious sites being altered or destroyed, against the wishes of worshippers.

We work within international organisations and networks to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief for all where it is threatened, including the UN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance.

For example, in October 2022 we raised China's severe restrictions on religious practice in a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) alongside 49 other countries. At last month's UN HRC we made a statement urging China to reverse its ongoing, serious, and systematic human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet.

More generally, we regularly raise the human rights situation in China directly with the Chinese authorities at the highest levels. The Foreign Secretary did so in a meeting with the Chinese Vice President in May 2023.