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Written Question
China: Christianity
7 Dec 2020

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of reported changes to the Bible by the Chinese Communist Party on the right to freedom of religion or belief in China.

Answered by Nigel Adams

We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China, including reports that authorities are tightening control over how certain religions are practiced. 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. This includes having access to religious texts and being allowed to worship in a manner of their choosing. The UK believes that societies which aim to guarantee freedom of religion or belief are more stable, prosperous and more resilient against violent extremism.


Written Question
China: Christianity
17 Nov 2020

Questioner: Carla Lockhart (DUP - Upper Bann)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to reports that an online Christian bookseller in China has been fined and given a seven-year prison sentence, what representations he is making to the Chinese Government on ensuring that (a) Christian books are available in China and (b) sellers of those books are not prosecuted.

Answered by Nigel Adams

We are aware of reports that a Christian bookseller has been arrested. The UK is deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and other religious groups on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. 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 regularly raise our concerns about freedom of religion or belief in China, including at the most recent session of the UN Human Rights Council on 25 September.


Written Question
China: Christianity
5 Oct 2020

Questioner: Gregory Campbell (DUP - East Londonderry)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the Chinese authorities on the reports of persecution and monitoring of Christian groups and churches in that country.

Answered by Nigel Adams

We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians and other religious groups on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy. We regularly raise our concerns about freedom of religion or belief in China, including at the most recent session of the UN Human Rights Council on 25 September. We will continue to raise this important issue.


Written Question
China: Religious Freedom
23 Jun 2020

Questioner: Lord Bishop of St Albans (Bishops - Bishops)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that priests in China have been forced to preach Chinese nationalism in return for the opening of religious spaces.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are aware of these reports. We remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity and other religions in China. The freedom to practice faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy.


Written Question
China: Christianity
18 May 2020

Questioner: Lord Bishop of St Albans (Bishops - Bishops)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of (1) churches being demolished, in particular the demolition of the Donghu Church, Qinghai Province, and (2) Christians streaming religious services at home being arrested, in China

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are aware of reports of the demolition of Donghu Church and remain concerned by restrictions placed on Christians and other religious groups in China, including reports of individuals being detained for their beliefs. The freedom to practice, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy.


Written Question
China: Christianity
28 May 2019

Questioner: Lord Bishop of St Albans (Bishops - Bishops)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the situation of Chinese Christians following reports that the government of China has labelled the expansion of Christianity a "grave harm to Chinese national security".

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. Our analysis is that restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China have recently increased, with the authorities tightening their control over how certain religions are practiced.

Accordingly, I highlighted these restrictions – including on Christians across China – at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2019. I also set out the Government’s position when answering an Oral Question in the House of Lords; 4 April 2019, Oral Question, House of Lords, column 226. We further raised similar concerns during China’s Universal Periodic Review in November 2018.

Additionally, on 30 January 2019, the Foreign Secretary, together with the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, launched an Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) support for persecuted Christians, including Christians in China. The Foreign Secretary has asked the Bishop to make ambitious FCO structural, policy and practice recommendations, which will be published as a Command Paper at the end of June.

We are also aware of credible reports of the closure or demolition of unregistered churches in some areas of China, the removal of crosses from buildings, and that individuals are being harassed or detained for their religious beliefs across China. Senior officials raised these concerns with Chinese authorities earlier this year, and will continue to do so.


Written Question
China: Christianity
15 May 2019

Questioner: Lyn Brown (LAB - West Ham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the accuracy of reports of the (a) repression of Christians (b) arrest of Pastor Wang Yi, (c) installation of surveillance equipment in churches, (d) destruction of churches, (e) eviction of congregations and (f) banning of the sale of the Bible online in the People’s Republic of China.

Answered by Mark Field

We are concerned about developing restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China. This includes reports that authorities are tightening control over how certain religions are practiced, including Christianity. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy.

We are aware of credible reports of the closure or demolition of unregistered churches in some areas of China, including the Early Rain Covenant Church and the arrest and detention of its Pastor Wang Yi. British diplomats met with Chinese officials in January and expressed concerns on the pressures facing Christians and directly raised Pastor Wang’s case. Also in January, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, raised concerns about the case in the House of Lords.

We are also concerned by reports that individuals are being harassed or detained for their beliefs across China, and that new guidelines on religion may restrict lawful and peaceful observance. There is also evidence to suggest restrictions on sales of Bibles by unauthorised sellers are in place.

The Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, has asked the Bishop of Truro to review what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) can do to better support persecuted Christians worldwide, including in China. The Review will map levels of persecution and discrimination against Christians around the world; assess the impact of the FCO’s current and recent support; and make recommendations. At the publication of the Bishop’s interim report, the Foreign Secretary said “I look forward to seeing the Bishop’s final report in the summer, and identifying further specific steps the FCO can take to do more to address the fate of persecuted Christians around the world.”


Written Question
China: Christianity
15 May 2019

Questioner: Lyn Brown (LAB - West Ham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Chinese Government on the arrest of over 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu on 9 December 2018.

Answered by Mark Field

We are concerned about developing restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China. This includes reports that authorities are tightening control over how certain religions are practiced, including Christianity. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy.

We are aware of credible reports of the closure or demolition of unregistered churches in some areas of China, including the Early Rain Covenant Church and the arrest and detention of its Pastor Wang Yi. British diplomats met with Chinese officials in January and expressed concerns on the pressures facing Christians and directly raised Pastor Wang’s case. Also in January, Lord Ahmad, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, raised concerns about the case in the House of Lords.

We are also concerned by reports that individuals are being harassed or detained for their beliefs across China, and that new guidelines on religion may restrict lawful and peaceful observance. There is also evidence to suggest restrictions on sales of Bibles by unauthorised sellers are in place.

The Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, has asked the Bishop of Truro to review what the Foreign and Commonweatlh Office (FCO) can do to better support persecuted Christians worldwide, including in China. The Review will map levels of persecution and discrimination against Christians around the world; assess the impact of the FCO’s current and recent support; and make recommendations. At the publication of the Bishop’s interim report, the Foreign Secretary said “I look forward to seeing the Bishop’s final report in the summer, and identifying further specific steps the FCO can take to do more to address the fate of persecuted Christians around the world.”


Written Question
China: Christianity
11 Mar 2019

Questioner: Emily Thornberry (LAB - Islington South and Finsbury)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the (a) persecution of Christians, (b) suppression of the Christian faith in that country and (c)that country's plans to issue a new, state-approved translation of the Bible.

Answered by Mark Field

We remain concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. 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 more resilient against violent extremism.

We regularly raise the full range of our human rights concerns with the Chinese authorities. We recently raised our concerns over restriction of freedom of religion or belief with the Chinese Government in our 27 June 2018 statement at the UN Human Rights Council and during China’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in November 2018.

We also highlighted our concerns in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy. The report contains details of work the FCO has carried out during the past year to promote human rights, including freedom of religion or belief in China and globally.


Written Question
Jiang Rong and Wang Yi
11 Mar 2019

Questioner: Emily Thornberry (LAB - Islington South and Finsbury)

Question

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.

Answered by Mark Field

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.


Written Question
China: Religious Freedom
25 Feb 2019

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of different religious groups by the government of China, including the treatment of Uighur Muslims, Christians, Falun Gong and Tibetan Buddhists; and what assessment they have made of whether the treatment of those groups is part of a wider effort by the government of China to suppress religious groups.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity, Uighur Muslims and other religions in China, that include individuals being harassed or detained for their beliefs. The freedom to practice, change or share ones 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. The prohibition of some religious groups, and the legal restrictions and harassment aimed at others, undermines freedom of religion or belief in China.


Written Question
China: Christianity
31 Jan 2019

Questioner: David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Government of China on that country's inclusion in the Open Doors 2019 World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians face persecution.

Answered by Mark Field

The Foreign Secretary and I, alongside other British Government Ministers, routinely raise our concerns about the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians, where this occurs. He recently asked the Bishop of Truro to conduct an independent review of the persecution of Christians around the world to help inform this important area of our work and ensure it is targeted and effective. The Government works with a large number of NGOs, including Open Doors, to help promote and protect freedom of religion or belief. We use information from a wide range of sources to inform our work.


Written Question
China: Christianity
18 Jan 2019

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of the People’s Republic of China following (1) the destruction of crosses and shrines, (2) the closure of Christian churches, and (3) the arrest of pastors, including the detention of Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong of Early Rain Covenant Church, just before Christmas 2018.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are concerned by the arrest and detention of Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong. We believe the restrictions placed on Christianity and other religions in China, that include individuals being harassed or detained for their beliefs are unacceptable. The freedom to practise, change or share ones 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.


Written Question
John Cao
3 Dec 2018

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the case of John Cao, arrested in Yunnan Province, China, on a charge of illegal border crossing, and (2) the statement by his representative, Li Guisheng, that Mr Cao has been “wrongfully convicted".

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are concerned by the arrest and detention of John Cao and will raise his case at the next round of the UK/China Human Rights Dialogue. We remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity and other religions in China, that include individuals being harassed or detained for their beliefs. The freedom to practise, change or share ones 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.


Written Question
John Cao
3 Dec 2018

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any representations to the government of China about (1) the conduct of the trial of John Cao, arrested in Yunnan Province, China, on a charge of illegal border crossing, (2) the request from his representatives for his appeal to be heard in a timely manner, and (3) his treatment in detention.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are concerned by the arrest and detention of John Cao and will raise his case at the next round of the UK/China Human Rights Dialogue. We remain concerned by the restrictions placed on Christianity and other religions in China, that include individuals being harassed or detained for their beliefs. The freedom to practise, change or share ones 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.