【英语中国】中国:不得强制收留的孤儿弃婴信仰宗教 China Tells Temples to Grant Orphans Freedom of Religion

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所属分类:双语中国

2014-5-8 10:45

小艾摘要: Last year, a fire blazed through a private orphanage in Henan province, killing five young boys and girls. It sparked outrage and demands that the country do more to protect the welfare of China's orp ...
China Tells Temples to Grant Orphans Freedom of Religion
Last year, a fire blazed through a private orphanage in Henan province, killing five young boys and girls. It sparked outrage and demands that the country do more to protect the welfare of China's orphans and the thousands of infants abandoned every year.

This week, in an unusual move, the government said it also wanted to ensure that orphans don't face indoctrination 'in order to protect their legitimate interests.'

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, religious groups such as temples and nunneries account for 74% of the 878 privately operated organizations that care for China's orphans, including nearly 10,000 babies.

Orphans are among the world's most vulnerable children, facing threats from human trafficking to neglect to sexual abuse. They are also occasionally seen as ripe targets for conversion by religious groups.

'In recent years, the religious community has played an important role when it comes to helping orphans and abandoned children,' the government notice said. 'But still, the supervision and management [of such establishments] is insufficient.'

The government said it wants to make sure religious organizations that care for children have stable funding and a stable group of employees. Only registered religious groups conforming to government safety standards will be allowed to adopt children, its notice said.

The ministry also said in the notice that it would urge coordination among departments in charge of public security, health care and family planning, to try to solve the household-registration problem that besets many orphans.

On Wednesday, an article by government mouthpiece China Daily quoted Zou Xiang of the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, Henan province, as saying children the temple cares for are free to choose their own religion. 'We just provide a safe shelter for them,' he said.

The article quoted a worker as saying the children aren't forced to read Buddhist teachings, though they are encouraged to learn Confucian classics and Shaolin kung fu.

The notice comes as the government steps up its efforts to ensure that abandoned children are properly cared for. Most famously, across a number of cities, some two dozen so-called ' baby hatches' have opened that allow parents to safely and anonymously abandon their infants. Many of the babies left behind have severe disabilities or other illnesses.

In March, the southern city of Guangzhou suspended its baby-hatch program because it was overwhelmed by too many abandoned infants, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Getty Images北京一家收留机构里,孤儿们在吃饭。
去年,河南一家民间寄养所发生火灾,造成5名儿童死亡。此事激起民众的愤怒,人们要求中国政府采取更多措施保护孤儿和弃婴的福利。中国每年的弃婴多达数千名。

本周,中国政府不同寻常地表示,要保障孤儿、弃婴的合法权益,不得强制收留的孤儿、弃婴信仰宗教。

中国民政部称,全国共有收留孤儿、弃婴和个人的民办机构878家,收留人数近1,000名;其中,寺院、尼庵等宗教背景的收留机构占到了74%。

孤儿是世界上最容易受到伤害的儿童群体之一,面临被非法贩卖、被忽视、性侵等风险,有时还会成为宗教团体的靶子,被迫信仰宗教。

民政部在公告中称,近年来,宗教界在孤儿、弃婴救助方面发挥了积极作用,但也存在一些监管不到位、抚育不科学、教育无保障等问题。

政府称,希望确保收留儿童的宗教组织要有相对稳定的人力、财力资源;通知称,只有符合国家安全标准的已登记的宗教团体,才能从事收留孤儿、弃婴活动。

民政部在通知中表示,要积极协调公安、卫生计生等有关部门为宗教界收留的孤儿、弃婴办理户籍登记。

周三,中国官方媒体《中国日报》(China Daily)援引河南省登封市少林寺的邹相(音)的话称,寺内收养的孩子可自由选择宗教信仰,少林寺只是给他们提供一个栖身之地。

报道援引一名工作人员的话称,孩子们并未被迫阅读佛法,但他们被鼓励学习儒家经典和少林功夫。

中国政府正采取更多措施,确保弃婴得到适当照顾。最著名的是,多个城市开办了大约二十多家“弃婴岛”,允许父母安全、匿名地抛弃婴儿。很多被抛弃的婴儿存在严重残疾或患有其他疾病。

据官方媒体新华社报道,3月份,中国南方广州市的婴儿安全岛暂停接收弃婴,因为弃婴太多,超过其接收能力极限。

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