World leaders meet for religious freedom forum in Taiwan

Taiwan International Religious Freedom
Forum attendees sit with Taiwanese
President Tsai Ing-wen (front row center).
ChinaAid President Bob Fu is seated on the
far right of the second row. (Photo: ChinaAid)


(Hsinchu, Taiwan—June 2, 2019) At the Taiwan
International Religious Freedom Forum (TIRFF), leaders from counties around the
world convened in Taiwan from Thursday-Saturday to address religious

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), the Taiwan
Association for Human Rights (TACHR), ChinaAid, and the Heritage Foundation—all
advocates for improved religious freedom throughout the world, hosted the forum—which
took place from May 30-June 1. In spotlighting the theme of “Rising to the
Challenge,” the forum hoped to promote increased freedom of belief by gathering
key, global leaders. Bob Fu, president and founder 

of ChinaAid, represented ChinaAid
at the event.

ChinaAid President Bob Fu (third from
right) sits next to Taiwanese Vice
President Chen Chien-jen (second from left),
who attended the Taiwan International
Religious Freedom Forum.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

At TIRFF’s commencement, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen
delivered a speech, recalling the “dark path” Taiwan endured on its “road to
religious freedom.” She also stated, “Recent reports by international media
about conditions in China have also brought troubling news. Christian churches
[in China] face [government] suppression. Tibetan Buddhists have been placed
under strict control, and, as we speak, Uighur Muslims are being sent to
re-education camps. The international community must show its concern and speak
out about these developments.”

Tsai’s official office posted her entire speech online,
which is available for review by clicking

Following the launch, Chen Chien-jen, the Taiwanese
Vice President, attended TIRFF’s panel on China’s persecution of Uyghur and
Tibetan people.

On May 31, forum attendees discussed research on
religious persecution and the part society plays in furthering religious
freedom, and the Taiwan Religious Freedom Roundtable was launched that evening.
Some initiatives were also talked about, including a declaration against China’s
persecution ethnic minorities in its northwestern Xinjiang region (available
here), a statement against the forced organ harvesting of prisoners, an emergency
mechanism to be used to help those suffering from religious persecution, a
healthcare component for persecution victims, and a radio program for religious
freedom at Radio Taiwan International (RTI).
On the final day, a press conference for the event was

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