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Chinese officials questioned on religious freedom


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE As part of its human rights watch, the Dutch government monitors freedom of religion in various parts of the world. China in particular has been questioned about its policies towards groups of unregistered Christians, which gather in homes or obscure meeting places. The Chinese government wants Christians to join the official church, a state-controlled entity. Dutch human rights ambassador Arjan Hamburger raised the matter with a Chinese government delegation visiting the Netherlands. The Chinese told Hamburger that their restrictions on house congregations are largely practical in nature, since they are often a nuisance to neighbours with their singing and traffic. The central government seems to be relenting somewhat but the enforcement of the rules vary widely from region to region.