Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MFA: "Chinese Have Full Freedom of Religious Belief," Baidu Bans Forums on Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism

On August 2, 2012, Xinhua reported:
A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday refuted the U.S. State Department's criticism of its religious freedom situation.
"The Chinese people are best qualified to judge China's religious situation," spokesman Hong Lei (洪磊) said, urging the United States to discard prejudice, respect the facts and view China's policy on religion and its religious freedom situation in an objective and impartial way.
The Chinese government protects citizens' freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law, he said, adding that people of all nationalities in the country are lawfully guaranteed full freedom of religious belief.
These screenshots, taken on August 4, show that searches on Baidu's Tieba forums for the following terms return no results, just a notice saying "Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this forum cannot be opened at this time." (抱歉,根据相关法律法规和政策,本吧暂不开放。): Islam (伊斯兰教), Judaism (犹太教), Christianity (基督教), and Buddhism (佛教).

Hong Lei's statement in Chinese: