UK Government paying 'close attention' to human rights of Chinese Christians

By Antony Bushfield for Premier

Alok Sharma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said the government was paying "close attention to the human rights situation in China".

He said the government "remain concerned by all reports of restrictions to freedom of religion or belief and persecution of faith groups, including reports of the removal of crosses from Christian churches in Zhejiang Province".

The minister was responding to a question from Christian MP Jim Shannon who asked ministers to speak to Chinese officials about their practice of removing crosses.

In many cases officials claim the crosses violate planning rules but local Christians reject this and say it is part of a wider crackdown on their faith.

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