In the department's annual report to Congress on religious freedom around the world, the US has blacklisted China and seven other countries as serious violators of religious freedom, namely Iran, Myanmar, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam.
This a huge step backward for Communist China that should be focusing on improving its rights record, if only to preserve its image in the run-up to the Olympics. To illustrate the gravity of the situation, one only has to remember the three murder attempts made on Gao Zhisheng, a human rights defender for the Falun Gong and Christians, and his arrest of August 15—the word is that he has been tortured. It is clear that the present law on religious freedom does not protect believers but does quite the opposite. For example a single complaint about noise or whatever is enough to get a church raided and shut down. The five main religions in China--Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism--are not even recognized by the law. As if thiswasn't enough, I ask you what to make of this:
"Latest batch of Chinese spies wear the collar of Catholic priest ... there can be little doubt that Liu, likely also believes that the Bible authorized Chinese authorities to remove organs from living victims, too."
But this time again, Falun Gong practitioners who are defiant and fear not fight for their rights were hit quite hard. For example, we have all heard about the recent reports of organ harvesting from living practitioners in China and killing them in the process--the new form of evil on the planet. This is just one example adding to the long list of persecutory methods used on the Falun Gong.
Even though China revised its rules on religion last year, "the government's respect for freedom of religion and freedom of conscience remained poor," the State Department said Friday.
In an annual report of the state of religious freedom, the department cited violence against believers and people the government considers cultists, especially members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Most of the repression targeted worshippers and practitioners in organizations not registered with the authorities.
"Falun Gong practitioners continued to face arrest, detention and imprisonment, and there have been credible reports of deaths due to torture and abuse," the report said.
People who refuse to give up their belief can receive harsh punishment, including being sent to prison or being re-educated at labor camps, the report said.
"The government tends to perceive unregulated religious gatherings or groups as a potential challenge to its authority," the report said, "and it attempts to control and regulate religious groups to prevent the rise of sources of authority outside the control of the government" and the Communist Party. (more)