FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2002
Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27
WHAT:Michael K. Young, Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, will testify on the Commission's behalf before the House International Relations Committee Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights regarding religious freedom in China and Vietnam.
WHEN:Wednesday, February 13, 2002 at 1:00 p.m.
WHERE:Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
BACKGROUND:On the eve of President George W. Bush's trip to China, the Commission is unveiling its new foreign policy recommendations to the Administration, Department of State, and Congress regarding China. The widespread and serious abuses of the right to freedom of religion and belief in China are well documented by this Commission.
There are numerous serious violations against members of many of China's religious and spiritual communities, including Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, and those groups, such as the Falun Gong and others, that the government has labeled "evil cults."
Chairman Young will also address religious-freedom violations in Vietnam, where conditions have deteriorated since the release of the Commission's Annual Report in May 2001. In particular, several leading religious figures have been imprisoned or placed under house arrest.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress."
Michael K. Young,Chair
- Felice D. Gaer, Firuz Kazemzadeh, Richard D. Land, Bishop William Francis Murphy, Leila Nadya Sadat. Nina Shea, The Hon. Charles R. Stith, The Hon. Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Steven T. McFarland, Executive Director