Christian Activist to Pass Secret Chinese Documents to U.S. Congress

BEIJING, Nov. 16–(Kyodo) _ A Chinese Christian activist living in the United States will give the U.S. Congress secret documents about China’s efforts to control religion, the activist’s organization said Tuesday.

Rev. Bob Fu, president of the China Aid Association, will provide the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Thursday with documents he believes explain why Chinese students have since June been compelled to sign “anti-cult” statements and why house church leaders have been arrested, the association said in a statement.

The documents give reasons for a one-year suspension in recruiting new students for religious studies alongside a $55 million increase in the government’s religious affairs budget, the association said. They also explain the arrests of Internet dissidents and the closure of media outlets, according to the statement.

The documents come from the Chinese Communist Party’s departments of propaganda and personnel plus four government offices, the statement says.

Fu has been invited to testify Thursday on religious freedom in China before the commission, which was created by Congress in 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the president and the Congress.

According to the commission’s 2004 annual report, China has “intensified its crackdown against free religious belief and practice during 2003 and expanded the campaign during 2004.”

It says the Chinese government continues to use anti-cult regulations to oppress believers who choose not to worship within the confines of government-authorized religion, and prohibits the free publication and importation of the Bible, the Koran, and the sacred texts or teachings of other religious and spiritual groups,” including those of the Falun Gong movement.

“The Chinese government has tightened its repression of unregistered Catholic religious practice and believers… Protestant house church congregations have suffered continued government intimidation and harassment, with reports of beatings and killings,” it says.

The document

Read the document:
English translation (WORD)

The committee, which consists of nine Senators, nine members of the House of Representatives and five senior administration officials, recommended urging China’s leaders “to eliminate all laws and regulations that allow the arbitrary labeling of unregistered religious and spiritual groups as cults, and to eliminate all restrictions and controls on the freedom to produce, read, and distribute the religious or spiritual texts of one’s choosing.”

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Kyodo News Service, Japan
Nov. 16, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday November 16, 2004.
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