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USCIRF Calls on President Bush to Request Meeting with Prisoners During Beijing Olympics, Attend House Church Service

ICC Note:

Despite the President’s declaration that he would bring up the issue of human rights to Chian, USCIRF urges him further to request to actually meet some of the imprisoned and to attempt to attend a house church service.


2/28/08 China (USCIRF) The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom commends President George W. Bush for pledging Thursday that while attending the Summer Olympic Games in China, he will raise concerns about freedom of religion in China with President Hu Jintao. The Commission urges President Bush to request to meet with prisoners and persons detained by the state because of their exercise of freedom of religion or advocacy of this and related human rights and to attend an “unregistered” church—underlining the Chinese government’s violations of religious freedom by its efforts to control faith.

“President Bush has made of point of meeting the Dalai Lama and unregistered Protestant leaders at the White House. While in Beijing we urge him to visit an unregistered Protestant church and Goeden Choekyi Nyima, the Dalai Lama-selected Panchen Lama, who has been held incommunicado for 12 years. The President should also seek the immediate and unconditional release of imprisoned Roman Catholic bishops and priests, unregistered Protestant leaders, Tibetan Buddhists, and Uighur Muslims.”

“President Bush has an opportunity to express the United States’ concern about the repression of religious belief and practice in China and show solidarity with the suffering. His visit to the Olympic games allows him a platform to articulate again that China’s future is best assured not with the repression or suspicions of the past, but in the full protection of the fundamental freedom and rights of the Chinese people. U.S.-China relations will improve vastly as a result,” Cromartie said.

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