Sunday, November 20, 2005
Bush: 'May God bless the Christians of China'
President attends government-sanctioned church
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- President Bush attended a legally sanctioned church Sunday in Beijing before scheduled talks on religious freedom with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Bush also planned to discuss trade, intellectual property rights and support for the U.S. push to spread democracy in nations such as Iraq.
During his visit to the Gangwashi Church -- one of five Protestant churches sanctioned by the government -- Bush signed a guest book with the words: "May God bless the Christians of China." With her signature Laura Bush, who's accompanying her husband, added, "with love and respect." (Watch Bush after attending officially recognized church in Beijing -- 1:36)
"It wasn't all that long ago that people were not allowed to worship openly in this society," Bush said. "My hope is that the government of China will not fear Christians who gather to worship openly. A healthy society is a society that welcomes all faiths."