I have been really impressed with President Bush during his visit to China. This past Sunday he went to church in Beijing, which was bold move in itself. Afterwards, he stated: "You know, it just goes to show that God is universal, and God is love, and no state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion."
As a Catholic, I am of course more aware of Catholic oppression in China, though countless religious groups face oppression. According to the Catholic News Service, there have been severe restrictions on unregistered clergy since right before the Olympics. Unregistered clergy and bishops are those who chose not to register with the government, which is the law, and face sometimes harsh penalties for doing so. Most of these unregistered clergy are concerned that if they registered with the State, that the government would try to compromise their ministry. In response to recent crackdowns, most clergy have left the Beijing area for the time being or are choosing to lay low. One bishop is under house arrest.
In spite of all of this, Bush seems willing to sacrifice good trade relations with China to emphasize religious freedom while he is there. This seems a bit out of character with his normal priorities, but better late than never.
A Faithful Catholic