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A Letter to Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 October 2002
John V. Hanford III,
Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom
United States Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W. - Room 4835
Washington, D.C. 20520
sent by fax to 202/647-3209

Dear Ambassador Hanford:

As New York Coordinator for Harry Wu's Laogai Research Foundation and editor of the web site, I am requesting any documentation to support your testimony of October 9, 2002 before the US Congressional Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights.

Your testimony left me and many Americans who care for the millions who suffer religious persecution in China extremely disappointed.

You stated that China is willing to have youth participate in Sunday School and youth camps. This is contrary to Article 34 of China's own constitution which does not extend the right of freedom of religious belief to people under the age of 18. China does not allow religious teaching in schools. China's constitutional provisions are applied uniformly; provinces do not have the power to override the rules set by Beijing.

Contrary to your statement, there is absolutely nothing in PRC's treatment of adults or children to suggest that any change is in sight. Rather, the lives of those who practice religion in China is threatened by worse persecution than previously. This past July, five adults and 25 children in China's Fujian province were arrested for studying the Catechism. Christian pastors - even from the official church - cannot freely baptize any truly
confessed believers under 18 years old without losing their pastoral positions.

On the eve of Jiang Zemin's visit with President Bush, it is essential that our President, the U.S. Congress and all Americans who respect the right to worship understand the truth about the current situation of millions of victims of severe religious persecution by China's regime.

Ann Noonan

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