US Commission Urges Bush to Speak Out on Religion in China

July 31, 2008

Author: Chris Herlinger

Source: Ecumenical News International

An independent U.S. commission that has government backing has urged President George W. Bush to speak out publicly on religious freedom and human rights when he attends the forthcoming summer Beijing Olympic Games.

Officials of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued the call on Wednesday 30 July, and said the games had not caused the Chinese government to change course on what the commission calls "the pressing need" for China to embrace guarantees of freedom of religion and public thought.

"Hopes that the Olympic Games would dramatically improve human rights conditions in China have not been realised," said Felice D. Gaer, the commission's chairperson, at a Washington DC news conference. "Instead, the situation has grown increasingly dire, particularly for many of China's religious adherents."