(Clearwisdom.net) The US State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor released its 2008 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom on September 19, 2008. The report once again showed concern over China's lack of religious freedom, pointing out that the Chinese Communist regime continues its repression of religious people, particularly the Falun Gong and Christian groups. Falun Gong practitioners have continued to be arrested and imprisoned, and there are also cases of death due to torture and abuse while in police custody.

The report designated China as one of eight countries that were of particular concern because of extremely serious infringement of religious freedom. The report stated that, if feasible, the US should reduce its assistance to these countries.

China has been designated as a "country of particular concern" since 1999. Therefore, according to the Foreign Relations Authorization Bill, the US must restrict exporting crime control and detection instruments and equipment to China.

The report pointed out that, during the period covered by the report, the Chinese Communist regime had oppressed religious freedom in some areas, such Tibet and Xinjiang Autonomous Region, even more than in previous years. The authorities also conducted more harassment of certain unregistered religious groups protesting in Beijing in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics.