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Bush meets Chinese activists on religious freedom

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) U.S. President George W. Bush met on Thursday with Chinese activists who said afterward that he had pledged to raise the issue of religious freedom with Chinese leaders in the future.

Bush met at the White House with Yu Jie, Li Baiguang and Wang Yi -- Chinese Christian dissidents who have criticized their government's controls on religion.

When Bush visited Beijing in November, he attended a service at a government-registered church. He also raised religion at a White House meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in April.

The Communist Party in China allows citizens to worship only in state-monitored churches, temples and mosques.

The Chinese activists said that they had a prayer with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before the meeting ended.

They said that Chinese Christians were determined to use China's own constitution to defend rights and want to see political prisoners have the right to be baptized and worship in prisons.

They also said they had brought up concerns that Yahoo Inc.

information was being used to jail Internet writers in China.

REUTERS CH RS2355

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