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"Purdue Consensus on Religious Freedom"

   
   “Religious Freedom and Chinese Society: A Symposium of Case Analysis” was held on May 5-7, 2014 at Purdue University. The participants included lawyers, ministers, and scholars. Through engaging discussions, some consensus was reached. Consequently, some participants proposed to draft a text of consensus for signatures so that the understanding of religious freedom can be spread and greater attention can be paid to the issues of religious freedom in China. The text was finalized after further discussion by the symposium participants. The text and signatories of the Purdue Consensus on Religious Freedom are made public today (May 14, 2014).
   
    For those who want to support this consensus, please send an email to [email protected] Please include at least this information: your full name, profession, and residence.
   


   
   
   "Purdue Consensus on Religious Freedom" with Signatories
   
   
   
   We are deeply concerned about the following reality:
   
   
   1. China’s Constitution and law lack a clear definition of and sufficient protection for religious freedom.
   
   
   2. Misunderstanding, violation, discrimination and persecution abound with regard to religious freedom in legal and social practices of China.
   
   
   3. As a result, intellectuals and the general public in China lack an understanding of and a basic consensus on the value and implications of religious freedom.
   
   
   In accordance with the definition and protection of religious freedom prescribed by a series of international covenants on human rights, we hold the following beliefs:
   
   
   1. Religious freedom encompasses not only individual freedom of conscience and the freedom to express belief or disbelief in a religion, but also the freedom of family members (adults and children) to adhere to and to express their religious faith, the freedom of parents to instruct their children in their religious faith, the freedom of parents to choose religious education for their children, and the freedom of children to practice their religion and receive the religious education chosen for them by their parents. Religious freedom also encompasses the freedom of religious groups to practice their faith, to worship together, to establish religious venues, to use religious symbols, to publish religious books, and to disseminate religious faith.
   
   
   2. Religious freedom is a basic and core value of modern nations and societies. Without full protection of religious freedom, other freedoms such as the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression, the freedom of thought, the freedom of academic pursuit, the freedom of family, and the freedom of education that are guaranteed by the Constitution will not be fully protected in reality.
   
   
   3. Religious freedom implies that religious faiths and non-religious systems, whether in private or in public, are entitled to equality with respect to free expression and legal standing. Neither religious nor non-religious systems shall be deemed negative and discriminated against.
   
   
   4. Religious freedom implies a constraint on state power, i.e. the state cannot pass judgment on any religious or non-religious system as doctrinally or morally right or wrong, good or bad, let alone penalize citizens on basis of such judgment. Neither can the state make any religious or non-religious system the basis for the state’s legitimacy and accord it a preferential legal status.
   
   
   5. Religious freedom implies that the state has no right or moral authority to distinguish between “legitimate religion” and “feudal superstition,” between “orthodox religion” and “heterodox cult,” between “orthodoxy” and “heresy.” Members of any traditional or emerging religion shall not be subject to government censorship or legal judgment for merely believing, expressing, disseminating, or practicing their religious faith.
   
   
   To that end, we fervently appeal that:
   
   
   In legal and public life, all Chinese citizens, irrespective of their religion, denomination, and non-religious system, have the responsibility to respect, to protect, and to fight for the above principles and values of religious freedom.
   
   
   
   Signatories:
    Professor Yang Fenggang
    Rev. Wang Yongxin (Thomas Wang)
    Rev. Liu Tongsu
    Rev. Wang Yi
    Attorney Teng Biao
    Attorney Zhang Kai
    Rev. Hong Yujian
    Rev. Fu Xiqiu (Bob Fu)
    Mr. Ling Cangzhou
    Attorney Xia Jun
    Rev. Man De (Guo Baosheng)
    Rev. Yan Xin’en (John Yan)
    Mr. Wu Chaoyang
    Attorney Chen Jian’gang
    Rev. Jin Mingri (Ezra Jin)
    Attorney Li Xiongbing
    Attorney Li Heping
    Dr. Liu Junning
    Professor Zhang Qianfan
    Professor Sun Yi
    Rev. Chen Yaomin
    Rev. Jin Zhongquan
    Rev. Wang Baoluo (Paul Wang)
    Attorney Zhang Peihong
    Mr. Zan Aizong
    Rev. Li Yading
    Mr. Chen Yongmiao
    Attorney Li Subin
    Attorney Li Fangping
    Attorney Sui Muqing
    Attorney Jiang Tianyong
    Attorney Chen Guodi
    Professor Xing Fuzeng (Ying Fuk-Tsang)
    Dr. Zhang Zhipeng
    Mr. Zhu Ruifeng
    Rev. Wang Wenfeng
    Attorney Zhuang Daohe
    Attorney Tang Jitian
    Attorney Xiao Fanghua
    Attorney Wang Cheng
    Attorney Tang Jingling
    Attorney Liu Shihui
    Mr. Fan Xuede
    Dr. Xia Yeliang
    Rev. Liu Fenggang
    Mr. Liu Guan
    Rev. Wang Zhiyong (Paul Wang)
    Rev. Zhang Boli
    Attorney Zhang Liheng
    Professor Chen Zuoren (Stephen Chan)
    Attorney Liu Weiguo
    Professor Sze-Kar Wan
(2014/05/14 发表)
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