House of Lords written question – answered on 11 October 2012.

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Photo of Lord Patten Lord Patten Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the indefinite suspension by the Government of China of the Sheshan Catholic Seminary in Shanghai.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We are aware of reports that students at the Sheshan Catholic Seminary in Shanghai were told on 22 August 2012 that classes would be suspended indefinitely. Our consulate-general in Shanghai has not been able to verify this information.

We strongly support freedom of religion for all. The prohibition of some religious groups, and the legal restrictions and harassment aimed at others, undermines freedom of religious belief in China. We do regularly raise this with the Chinese Government, most recently during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in January this year, and shall continue to do so.

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