China: Religious Freedom

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken taken to promote (a) religious freedoms and (b) the ability to evangelise in China.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. 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 more resilient against violent extremism.

We raise the full range of our human rights concerns with the Chinese authorities. We recently raised our concerns over restriction of freedom of religion or belief with the Chinese Government in our 27 June 2018 statement at the UN Human Rights Council and during China’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in November 2018.

We also highlighted our concerns in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy. The report contains details of work the FCO has carried out during the past year to promote human rights, including freedom of religion or belief in China and globally.

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