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Abbot Calls for Eliminating Evil, Protecting Human Rights

A Chinese abbot called for eliminating evil, promoting goodness, and protecting human rights in Geneva Friday at the 57th session of the Commission on Human Rights.

"We oppose the force which splits own motherland, oppose the religious extremists who jeopardize world peace, oppose the evil cults which steal the religion terms to harm religion and threatensocial peace," said Abbot Sheng Hui, from the United Nations Association of China, a Chinese NGO.

Loving peace is the good tradition of religions in China, said the abbot. Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism have different origins and doctrines, but there have never been any serious conflicts among them, not to mention the cruel religion wars taking place in history in the West.

In today's China, he said, the harmonious coexistence of religions has entered a new phase. Religion freedom was included in the constitution. Protected by law, we have fully enjoyed the freedom of religion.

"The five religions in China, no matter big or small, are equal," the Chinese abbot said. "They respect each other, conduct religious activities on the basis of self determination. It is thegolden age at this time for our religions to be able to eliminate evil and promote goodness, purify people's hearts and contribute to the development of the country and the happiness of the people."

However, he noted, in the current world, not all the places arebathed in peaceful sunshine, wars and poverty still go rampantly, human beings still suffer from unbearable pain. Some use the disparity between religions to instigate hatred of ethnic groups, to provoke "civilization conflicts". Some others trample down on the sovereignty of other countries under the pretext of "protecting human rights of religious people". Some use religious banner to serve their own interest, to split China.

What's more, Abbot Sheng Hui said, there are evil cults, which steal religious terms and notions, to fight against religion underthe name of religion, cheat the followers, plot to take over theirproperty, and hurt their lives. For example, the "Falun Gong" evilcult has used Buddhist terms of 2000 years like "Fa Lun" (wheel oflaw) and "achieving all-round fulfillment", to concoct "Falun dharma", which is the dark force damaging religious freedom and human rights.

(eastday 04/07/2001)

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