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  • » 07/10/2007, 00.00

    HONG KONG – CHINA

    Orthodox metropolitan: Beijing should allow real religious freedom

    Kevin Wang

    Archbishop Nikitas Lulias, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Hong Kong and South-East Asia, has invited the Chinese government to recognise Orthodoxy among the country’s official religions and he expressed concern about the plight of Christians in Asia.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Hong Kong and South-East Asia has called on the government of Beijing to grant full religious freedom to all faiths in the country and he expressed concern about the plight of Christians in Asia.

    In an interview with a Catholic weekly, Archbishop Nikitas Lulias said he did not agree with the policy of the Chinese government as regards religion, given that the latter did not include Orthodoxy among the five “official religions” of the country (Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Taoism).

    He said: “This is even more damaging if one considers the changes taking place in China, a country that is developing rapidly. Religions should enjoy full freedom, because real social changes will soon take place alongside economical ones.”

    The Metropolitan, who answers to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, also underlined how “difficult” the situation was for Christians in many Asian countries under his spiritual jurisdiction: “Christians are ever more frequently the victims of fanaticism and unjustified hatred. We must pray that their situation may improve as soon as possible.”

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