Shanghai – At the conclusion of a bipartisan congressional trip to Asia, House Minority Speaker Eric Cantor called China’s treatment of religious freedoms a “legitimate issue,” and said he is hopeful that upon returning to the states he can “make the case” with Chinese officials to work towards making them a “human right.”
AFP (http://bit.ly/QM2Ecg) reports that Cantor, the highest-ranking Jewish Republican in Congress, said that while he was in Shanghai he accompanied a local rabbi to Ohel Rachel, the historic synagogue which remains accessible to Jews only during high holy days.
Cantor said that when he gets back to the US he plans to urge Chinese officials in Washington to allow Jews in China, most whom are expatriates, more liberal access to the synagogue.
“Religion is something that’s constitutionally protected for us, and we want to be able to promote that as a human right across the world,” Cantor said. “I think it’s a legitimate issue, and I look forward to hopefully being able to meet with the Chinese when I’m back in Washington to make the case for religious freedom (in China).”
Despite frequent accusations from other nations and advocacy groups that control over religious freedoms is too stringent, Chinese officials maintain that worshippers’ “legal rights and interests” are “protected.”