Jul 20, 2017 Human Rights Comments Off on No policy to ban temple incense burning, says Cabinet
The government has said it respects the public's right to religious freedom, including the freedom to burn incense. It rejected rumors saying that environmental authorities want an outright ban on burning incense in temples.
Rumors on the internet that the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has a policy to ban the burning of incense have caused a backlash from religious groups. Some temples have reportedly plan a demonstration this weekend.
Cabinet spokesperson Hsu Kuo-yung said Thursday however that the claims are without foundation.
Hsu said, "I believe this was a misunderstanding. The EPA has never [had a policy] to stop people burning incense. Out of environmental considerations, we hope that there can be a reduction on burning incense, firecrackers and ghost money. But the constitution sets religious freedom as a basic human right, so there can be no law that would restrict a person's right to practice their faith. That would be unconstitutional. If burning incense is an essential part of the practice of one's religious faith, we respect that."
Hsu noted that some major temples in Taipei had moved to cut down on the amount of incense they burn. But he said that was an entirely voluntary move from the temples as a show of social responsibility.
Source: Radio Taiwan International
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