Welcome to USCIRF

Hearing on Religious Persecution in China

Mar. 13, 2000

Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is holding its second hearing on Thursday, March 16 to examine religious persecution in China. The hearing is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the board room of the Los Angeles Unified School District building at 450 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California. The purpose of the hearing is to gather information for the Commission's first annual report to the Administration and Congress, due May 1.

The witnesses and schedule are as follows:

9:00-9:15Opening Comments: Rabbi David Saperstein, Chair

Panel I


Wei Jingsheng, human rights activist and former political prisoner

Lu (Frank) Siqing, Director, Information Center for Human Rights and Democratic Movements, Hong Kong

Mickey Spiegel, religious issues specialist (China), Human Rights Watch - Asia, New York City


Panel II


Xiqiu (Bob) Fu, house-church leader, fled China in 1997

Harry Wu, former detainee, President, Laogai Research Foundation

Dr. Kim-Kwong Chan, Executive Secretary, Hong Kong Christian Council

Panel III


Ajia Rinpoche, former Senior Abbot of Kumbum Monastery and former Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China


Panel IV


Erping Zhang, Falun Gong spokesman

Uighur witness via Dr. Erkin Sidick, a leader of the U.S. Uighur community

Dr. Dru Gladney, Dean, Asia-Pacific Center, Hawaii


Panel V


Gare Smith, Foley, Hoag & Eliot (Washington D.C. office)

Fr. Drew Christiansen, Society of Jesus, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University

Dr. Merle Goldman, John K. Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University

4:30Closing remarks of Rabbi David Saperstein, Chair

The hearing is held under authority of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Reporters and producers wishing assistance in arranging interviews with witnesses or Commissioners may contact Communications Director Lawrence J. Goodrich at (202) 523-3240.

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." 

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom




Rabbi David Saperstein,Chair

  • Dean Michael K. Young, Vice Chair, Hon. Elliott Abrams, Laila Al-Marayati, M.D.Hon. John R. Bolton, Firuz Kazemzadeh, Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, Nina Shea, Justice Charles Z. Smith, Ambassador Robert Seiple, Ex-Officio Steven T. McFarland, Executive Director