China and India are protesting a U.S. report that condemns violations of religious freedom worldwide.
According to ChristianToday.com, China has filed a formal diplomatic protest after the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom’s report found that China’s violations were “severe” against Buddhists, Muslims and Christians in particular.
"China is resolutely opposed to this and has already lodged stern representations with the US side. We demand the US side objectively and justly view China's religious policy and Chinese citizens' freedom of belief and stop using the religious issue to interfere in China's internal affairs," said Hong Lei, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry. "The US side should reflect more on its own problems and not always gesticulate about other countries."
India is also rejecting the U.S. claims in the report, which said in 2015 that religious freedom violations increased in the country.
"Our attention has been drawn to the recent report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which once again fails to show proper understanding of India, its constitution and its society,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesman for India’s external affairs ministry.
“India is a vibrant pluralistic society founded on strong democratic principles. The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens including the right to freedom of religion," stated Swarup.
The U.S. report cited religious freedom violations in more than 30 countries, including China, Sudan, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, and asked the Department of State to re-designate China as a top violator.
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Publication date: May 6, 2016