Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World Brief

    July 31, 1997

    Hong Kong's New Leader Promises Religious Freedom

    "One of the freedoms that my government will preserve is, of course, freedom of religion," Hong Kong's chief executive announced on July 9, according to Ecumenical News International. Tung Chee-hwa's statement came after several months of speculation by members of religious faiths throughout the world over how the new Chinese government would handle religious matters in Hong Kong.

    Religions in the People's Republic of China are regulated by the state. Mr. Tung, who is Buddhist, told members of the Lutheran World Federation who were meeting in Hong Kong that Hong Kong will retain "a high degreee of autonomy" from China. He read the assembly a portion of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, adopted by the People's Republic, which guarantees "freedom of religious belief."

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson