China remains fearful of religious freedom, forum told

By Art Babych | Anglican Journal

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that China’s leaders are “deeply fearful of any manifestation of religious belief,” since it is “perpetually insecure about its hold on power,” said David Mulroney, Canada’s former ambassador to China.

Limited by an ideology that can’t see anything beyond the communist vision, the Chinese government’s “deep anxiety” explains the party’s “inclination to suppress, punish and silence those who aspire to a deeper vision of possibilities,” said Mulroney, who was ambassador from 2009 to 2012. “So, too, are they intimidated by thinkers, painters and poets.”

Mulroney, now president and vice-chancellor of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, was a panelist at the Sixth Annual Parliamentary Forum on Religious Freedom in Ottawa April 3.