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China Cited in Call for Renewed Efforts to Protect Worldwide Religious Freedom

by Maria Mackay

China/World (For the full story go to Christianity Today) The editor of The Church of Ireland Gazette, Canon Ian Ellis, has called for a renewed determination in the international community to protect religious freedom around the world.

“Sadly, we live in a world where such freedom is not everywhere to be found and often, where it does exist, it is not properly valued,” he told the congregation at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin , on Sunday.

Canon Ellis later turned his attention to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing , China . The communist country is well known for its heavy handed restrictions on religious worship and has in recent months come under fire from Christian watchdogs accusing China of a crackdown on unofficial house churches.

He pointed specifically to the recent assertions from the Rev Kwok Nai-Wang, a theological consultant to the Christian Conference of Asia, that there was still no substantial evidence of an improvement in the human rights situation in China . He also declared that religious freedom in China existed only so long as believers did not make any challenges to the political status quo.