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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:
问:美国国务院发布2011年度“国际宗教自由报告”,继续把中国列为“特别关注国家”。你对此有何评论?
答:中国政府依法保障公民的宗教信仰自由,中国各族人民依法享有充分的宗教信仰自由。中国宗教状况怎么样,中国人民最有发言权,不需要美方指手画脚、说三道四。美方应摒弃偏见,尊重事实,客观、公正看待中国的宗教政策和宗教信仰自由状况,停止利用宗教问题干涉中国内政,不做有损中美关系和双方互信与合作的事。