Jiang Rong and Wang Li

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the arrest of Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chingdu province in December 2018 on charges of incitement to subvert state power.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

We are concerned by the arrest and detention of Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong. We have raised our concerns about the closure of some churches, including the Early Rain Covenant Church, under China’s recently updated regulations on religious affairs.

We remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity and other religions in China, which include individuals being harassed or detained for their beliefs. The freedom to practise, change or share one's 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 resilient against violent extremism.

We are robust in raising the full range of our human rights concerns with the Chinese authorities. We raised our concerns over restriction of freedom of religion or belief as part of China’s Universal Periodic Review in November 2018, and in our 27 June 2018 statement at the UN Human Rights Council.

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