Friday, August 15, 2008

As Tara Wall put it, “To the president’s credit, before and throughout his trip, he has condemned China‘s horrific human rights abuses and religious oppression.” (“Religious freedom on display,” Op-Ed, Tuesday)

President Bush‘s visit to a Chinese church Sunday in Beijing was an illustration of good will. What he may not have witnessed, however, is that on the same day a Chinese pastor, Hua Huiqi, was on his way to the same church as Mr. Bush when Mr. Hua was whisked away, according to the Wall Street Journal. He has not been heard from since.

While “freedom of religion” is permitted in churches approved by the State Administration of Religious Affairs, the “house” churches are considered off-limits by the Chinese leadership and subject to harsh persecution.

Little has changed since the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution, when Christians were persecuted and churches were desecrated under Mao Zedong. The truth is that freedom of religion, as we know it, does not exist in China. The incident in Beijing Sunday is a case in point.



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