Chinese religious leaders call for crack down on cults, Falun Gong

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific / August 16, 2000

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

Beijing, 16th August: Leaders of major religions in China today denounced Falun Gong for stealing Buddhist and papist phrases to spread its fallacies and defame these religions, and urged the authorities to crack down on this cult and others.

Seven religious leaders of five lawful beliefs in the country, namely Buddhism, Taoism [Daoism], Islamism, Catholicism and Christianity, gathered today to attend a symposium of the Chinese religious circles on the issue of world peace.

These leaders are members of the Chinese delegation to the forthcoming United Nations' millennium conference on world peace attended by religious and spiritual leaders.

Master Shenghui, a vice-chairman of the Buddhist Association of China, said the Falun Gong cult is by nature against science, mankind, the government, society, world peace and the fortunes of human beings.

He said since Falun Gong has caused many deaths in China, Li Hongzhi, the cult leader, has committed severe crimes. Chinese Buddhists are in opposition to Falun Gong and its practices, he added.

The whole world should firmly oppose cults like what has been done by the Chinese government against Falun Gong. The cult leader is being sought by Chinese police, he noted.

He warned that the cult members are trying to attend the coming UN conference. "All religions in the world are against cults, and the conference will be tarred if these cult members are allowed to attend," he said.

Fu Tieshan, chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, complained that while the world is celebrating the millennium, many cults have arrived. Some of them just make money by cheating the masses under the cloak of religions.

All religious people must be on their guard against these cults, he emphasized.

Also speaking at today's symposium were Jamyang Losang Jigme Tubdain Qoigyi Nyima, a vice-chairman of the Buddhist Association of China, Han Wenzao, chairman of the China Christian Council, Min Zhiting, chairman of the China Daoist Association, Chen Guangyuan, chairman of the Islamic Association of China, and Cao Shengjie, a vice-chairman of the China Christian Council.

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