.- President George W. Bush should have taken a stronger stand on the human rights violations and religious persecution by the Chinese government on the Falun Gong at an April 20 press conference, says the Christian Defense Coalition.
Bush reportedly apologized to Chinese President Hu Jintao after a Falun Gong activist at the press conference shouted for Bush to help end Chinese religious persecution against the group.
The coalition believes Bush’s response to the episode should have focused on the human rights violations and the religious persecution by the Chinese government.
“The focus of the episode at [the] news conference should not have been an apology by President Bush,” said Fr. Patrick Mahoney, the director of the coalition. “Rather, it should have been an honest and open dialogue by the White House on human rights and religious freedom.”
The coalition is also calling on the U.S. government to drop criminal charges against religious rights activist Wenyi Wang.
“It was also troubling to see the repeated characterization of Wenyi Wang by the national press as a heckler,” he said. “This woman was simply attempting to draw public attention to the religious persecution of the Falun Gong by the Chinese government.”