BEIJING – A U.S. commission that accused Beijing of restricting religious freedom is biased and is meddling in China's internal affairs, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Chinese citizens enjoy "complete religious freedom" despite the assertions by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in a report issued last week.
In a statement, Jiang urged the commission to "abandon its prejudices, respect facts and stop intervening in China's domestic affairs by means including issuing reports."
In its annual report, the commission listed China among the worst violators of religious freedom, saying the government imposes severe restrictions on unregistered religious groups and those deemed to threaten national security or social harmony.
"Religious freedom conditions for Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims remain particularly acute as the government broadened its efforts to discredit and imprison religious leaders, control the selection of clergy, ban religious gatherings, and control the distribution of religious literature by members of these groups," the report said.
The report also said that over the past year, the government has detained over 500 unregistered Protestants and dozens of Catholic clergy, increased efforts to destroy or close unregistered churches and meeting places, and targeted followers of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and their defenders.
Commission Chairman Leonard Leo also accused China of trying to hack into the commission's emails.
The other "countries of particular concern" were Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.