RFI’s Paul Marshall Discusses Religious Freedom in China on NDT

February 10, 2023

Paul Marshall, Director of RFI’s South and Southeast Asia Action Team, was recently interviewed for NDT’s “China in Focus.” Marshall argued that China does not actually believe in religious freedom, saying:

I would say in simple terms, totalitarian countries like China don’t believe in religious freedom. They say they would define it differently, but in practice they restrict it, they don’t want it. So there is a takeover of every religious form.

He went on to argue that the reason the Chinese government has undertaken prison camps, killings, demolition of buildings, and a variety of controls on religious dissidents is precisely because so many people in China adamantly disagree with the government.

When asked what it is about religious faith that the Chinese Communist Party finds so threatening and detestable, Marshall explained:

There are two levels. One, it doesn’t like anything that is independent…. it wants everything to be subservient to the party. But with faith, you get two added elements: one, it is extremely powerful. People will die for what they believe. And government doesn’t want such a powerful thing if it doesn’t control it. And secondly, it has an authority that is apart from the government… it’s the idea that you have another loyalty.

Watch the full interview here: “Paul Marshall: ‘China Doesn’t Believe in Religious Freedom.’