Because China is a major trade partner with the United States, it can be easy to forget that religious freedom in China is marginal even when China is trying to put its best foot forward.
“Previous Olympic hosts welcomed foreign chaplains, but China has banned them from living with the athletes. It has instead pledged that it will provide equivalent services from its pool of state-employed pastors, imams and other clerics.”
. . .
“China’s ruling Communist Party is suspicious of any cause that could compete with its authority, including organized religion. Officially, the party allows worship only at registered churches belonging to a state-controlled organization; nonregistered places of worship are closely monitored. The party also bans foreign chaplains’ holding services without government permission or proselytizing on Chinese soil.”
. . .
“As Americans, we believe in having our free will to do as we please and express our views,” McAdams said. “It has been a little awkward, but we are in a communist country, and that is the way things are done.”
Read the full article at The Houston Chronicle.