China: Religious Freedom

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd November 2015.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the extent of freedom of religion and belief in China.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

We remain concerned by the human rights situation in China, including restrictions on freedom of religion or belief. Some of our concerns include restrictions on the celebration of Ramadan in Xinjiang, and reports of church demolition and cross removal in Zhejiang Province. Freedom of religion or belief remains one of the Government’s top priorities and we are dedicated to its promotion and protection around the world.

We raise this issue consistently with the Chinese authorities and continue to highlight a range of our concerns related to freedom of religion or belief in China in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy (www.hrdreport.fco.gov.uk), and most recently in July 2015. We also did so in detail during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in April this year, and will continue to do so as part of our wider relationship.

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