Beijing Religious Communities Offer Donations for Lepers in China

Relgious leaders Gather to Promote Public Awareness and Actions for Leprosy
( [email protected] ) Dec 14, 2004 12:24 PM EST

2004 December 14 - A joint special performance by religious believers was held in the National Culture Palace in Beijing, China. Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists joined this event and contributed around 1.2 million RMB (US $150,000) for the Chinese Alliance of the Prevention and Cure of Leprosy.

According to Chinese government, currently there are still 6,000 lepers lacking healing in China. Chinese Health Minister Wang Long-de stated that China, performance-wise, has cured more than 400 thousand lepers in the past 50 years. However, of the 230,000 cured lepers who are still alive, 130,000 have become deformed from the disease. Leprosy usually occurs in poor regions where there is a lack of medical treatment, which makes it more difficult to prevent the disease and cure people. Many people have fallen into extreme poverty because of leprosy. Wang Long-de said, “The whole society should abandon discrimination and help them.”

According to Wang Li-zhong, the president of the Chinese Alliance of the Prevention and Cure of Leprosy, there are recently 2000-3000 cases of leprosy in China every year. The majority of the individuals involved have been living in the poorest regions.

The president of China National Catholicism Patriotic Committee, Bishop Fu Tie-shan expressed that not only the government, but also “the whole society including religious communities” should help and care for the lepers together. Fu is also a vice chairman of the Standing Committee of National Peoples Congress. He said that as soon as he brought the plan of this action forward, he received support from Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and other areas of the society.

Officials from Chinese governments joined this event too. Ye Xiao-wen, bureau chief of the State Bureau of Religious Affairs of China said that this performance and donation shows the unity and harmony of the religious communities in Beijing, as well as their love for their people and the country.