Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng reaffirmed this week that the Macao government respects the different religious beliefs that exist in the territory, confirming that residents will continue to enjoy religious freedom.
The Chief Executive expressed the government’s support towards the city’s religious freedom during a Monday meeting with representatives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Macao, General Buddhist Association of Macau, Macao Taoist Association, Macao Anglican Churches, Spiritual Association of the Bahá’ í of Macao, and the Islamic Association of Macau.
Ho thanked Macao’s religious communities for what he considered as “immense work and commitment of the various religions in supporting the population and helping them overcome difficult times during the pandemic”.
The Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) states in Article 128 that the Macao government “does not impose restrictions on religious activities that do not contravene with the laws of the Macao SAR”.
The Basic Law also states that “in accordance with the principle of freedom of religious belief, the Macao SAR government does not interfere in the internal affairs of religious organisations, nor in the maintenance and development of relations between religious organisations and local believers from religious organisations and from outside the Macao Region”.
During the meeting, Benedict Keith Ip, who represented the Diocese of Macao, said that the six religious groups will soon organise a joint cultural exhibition showcasing the six religions and their cultural relics, with the aim to promote peace, integration and fraternity.
Ho also said that he wanted the city’s “different religions to maintain an altruistic spirit and convey positive messages to residents, particularly young people”.