MANHATTAN, New York (April 10, 2013) – The President of ICNA, Naeem Baig, participated in the dialogue held today at the office of Religions for Peace, in Manhattan, New York, with the delegation of the China Committee on Religion and Peace (CCRP). ICNA is an Executive Council member of the US based organization Religions for Peace USA.
The Chinese delegation included:
Mr. Deng Zongliang
Executive Vice-Chairman, the Subcommittee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Special Adviser of the President of China Committee on Religion and Peace (CCRP)
Ven. Xue Cheng
Vice-President, China Buddhist Association
Mr. Wei Yuanqi
Deputy Secretary-General, CCRP
Director-General, CCRP Office
Ms. Gao Ye
Program Chief, CCRP Office
The Executive Director of Religions for Peace, Dr. William Vendley, welcomed the guests and thanked the Chinese delegation for visiting the US and meeting with the leadership of the US religious organizations.
In his remarks Ven. Xue Cheng, Secretary General of CCRP, said that the five major religions in China, Buddhism, Taoism, Protestantism, Islam and Catholicism are flourishing and meeting the spiritual demands of their respective followers. The leaders of these major religions also work together to strengthen China Committee on Religions and Peace.
During the discussion Mr. Baig thanked CCRP for their work and also raised the issue of religious rights of Uyghur Muslims of China. He cited recent reports in the international media that the Chinese officials in Xinjiang province did not allow Muslim workers to fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He requested the CCRP delegation to look into this matter as this is an issue of human rights and religious freedom.
Mr. Zongliang, assured the forum that CCRP will consult the Chinese Muslim leadership on this matter and will ensure such things do not happen in future.
Established in the early 70’s, Religions for Peace USA is the largest and most broadly-based representative multi-religious forum in the United States. CCRP is a national mass organization consisting of representatives from the five major religions in China. Established in 1994, it’s headquartered in Beijing. There are an estimated 23 million Muslims in China, mainly in the western provinces.