Natalie McGarry – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Natalie McGarry on 2016-09-12.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on reports of the persecution of Christians and other minorities living in China.

Alok Sharma

The Government is concerned by restrictions placed on Christianity in China, such as the demolition of churches, the removal of crosses from buildings, and harassment or detention of individuals for their beliefs. The freedom to practise, change or share your faith or belief is a fundamental human right that all people should enjoy.

We are robust in raising religious freedoms with the Chinese authorities. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my noble Friend, the Rt Hon. the Baroness of Anelay of St Johns DBE, raised the destruction of churches and religious symbols with the Director of the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee on 7 July 2016. I also raised the case of Ding Cuimei, who reportedly died while protesting the demolition of her church in Zhejiang province, with the Chinese Ambassador on 1 August.