Christian Chinese dissidents meet Bush to talk about religious freedom in China
11 May 2006
The decision to tackle the issue â€œreflects US growing impatience with restrictions on religious freedom, including the attempt to exclude the Vatican from controlling appointments of Catholics bishopsâ€.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) â€“ A group of Christian dissidents are set to meet US President George W. Bush today at the White House to discuss freedom of religion in China.
One member of the group, which is very critical about Beijing's control over religions, is Yu Jie, a Beijing-based writer and evangelical Christian, Li Baiguang and Wang Yi: the three said they wanted to return home after visiting the United States.
Bob Fu, a former unofficial Protestant pastor of Beijing, will also take part in the meeting. Fu now leads the China Aid Association, an organization based in California that monitors the plight of Christians in China.
Fu said the meeting "reflected Bush`s growing impatience with the Communist regime's restrictions on religion, including its attempt to exclude the Vatican from control of Catholic bishops' appointments". He said: "This meeting sends a strong signal to Beijing that President Bush is very determined on this issue."
Yu, who forms part of an unofficial Christian congregation, said: "China`s small but growing band of politically engaged Christians might have attracted Bush`s interest. This is a new phenomenon - young supporters of democracy and human rights who have also embraced Christ."