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"Chinese enjoys more religious freedom than people abroad think"
Latest Updated by 2005-11-21 11:26:18
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Chinese people enjoy more religious freedom than people overseas imagine, said Luis Palau, a top Christian leader in the United States.

Luis Palau: Christian books widely available [File Photo]

Palau, president of the Luis Palau Association, joined US President George W. Bush at a church service in Beijing yesterday morning; and later in the day, conducted a service at Gangwashi Church.

Palau, 71, said that people who practice their faith within the law "enjoy great opportunities to worship openly to sing and to teach the Bible."

"It (the religious freedom) is growing all over China," he said in an interview with China Daily on Saturday. Palau wraps up a one-week trip to the country today.

"I myself have total freedom to speak at every church and every (religious) gathering in China. Nobody told me what to say and what not to say," he said.

Bookstores in China openly sell the Bible and other Christian books, he said, adding "this is very exciting for me."

Beijing has two new churches, the Shanghai municipal government rebuilt a theatre into a house of worship and in Nanjing, a theological seminary is being built which will be the biggest of its kind in China Palau pointed out.

He urged unregistered churches in China to register with the government. "I like to encourage them to be registered to have more freedom and opportunities to enjoy the protection and blessing of the government," he said.

Yesterday, Palau also spoke at a conference called "Hand in Hand in Charity" in Beijing that focused on charitable activities and opportunities in China.

The trip is the latest in a series of visits that Palau began five years ago.

"This current visit to China is symbolic of the changes that are occurring in this vast and wonderful country," he said.

"I pray these changes will lead to greater religious freedom."

Editor: Wing

By: Source: China View website
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