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Activist eyes 2008 Olympics if China continues religious persecution


WASHINGTON (RNS) A human rights activist has proposed a campaign in which American businesses would withhold investment in the 2008 Olympics if persecution of religious groups continues in China.

Bob Fu, president of the Midland, Texas-based China Aid Association, told a congressional committee examining religion in China that the U.S. government should compile a list of religious persecutors in China and make it public. It should then, he said, encourage U.S. corporations to not do business in provinces and cities where severe persecution is taking place.

Speaking Nov. 18 before the Congressional Executive Commission on China, Fu said an estimated 20,000-plus members of underground religious groups "have been arrested, detained, kidnapped or placed under house arrest" since 2002.

While Fu recommended punishing China, Commission Chair Preeta D. Bansal advocated a more positive approach, extending bank loan breaks to U.S. businesses that promoted Chinese religious freedom.