Violent Bigot Steve Hassan Supports China’s Assault on Religious Freedom

Deprogrammer Steve Hassan has allied himself with two apologists for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), appearing with them on a platform praising the CCP’s abuses of religious freedom.

Steve Hassan
Steve Hassan

Promoted as a featured speaker in a meeting of pro-China activists in Brussels last November, Hassan has a 40-year history of associating himself with violence against religion. In the 1980s, he teamed up with convicted felon Rick Ross in a scheme to deprogram for profit. His victims describe being physically abused, deprived of food and sleep, imprisoned, harassed, threatened and denied toilet facilities. But despite a parade of criminal convictions and multi-million dollar assessments against deprogrammers, Hassan continues to espouse their violence and dehumanization as “the only effective method” to compel a person away from a religion. In fact, in 2019 he recommended that the entire American populace be deprogrammed.

The “Misuse of Freedom of Religion” meeting was timed to take place just before the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) conference in Prague.

Hassan labels all new religions “cults,” and has been described by sociologist and author Massimo Introvigne as “one of the most fanatical international anti-cultists.”

At the meeting, titled “Misuse of Freedom of Religion—SECTS—Twisted Belief—Destructive Cults,” Roland Delcourt shared the stage with Hassan. Delcourt is a reporter who advances CCP aims by writing propaganda columns for the press organs of the Chinese regime, and was joined by Sven Aerts, another active promoter of the CCP’s abusive policies through his group the Federation of Asian Communities in Europe.

The “Misuse of Freedom of Religion” meeting was timed to take place just before the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) conference in Prague.

An alliance of 37 nations committed to freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, IRFBA works with senior government representatives to protect minority religions from discrimination and abuse.

Aerts opened the small anti-religious forum by attacking the work of IRFBA and other human rights activists, declaring, “These pseudo-Freedom of Religion or Belief Summits are known to experts. They are clever propaganda manipulations.”

Hassan said, “The United States, in opposition to many European member countries, has a total absence of agency regulating beliefs and undoubtedly sets a bad example for the world as it has for long allowed the development and growth of cults and various emerging new religious groups.”

Introvigne, on the other hand, points out, “An ‘agency regulating beliefs’ of course only exists in totalitarian countries or in Orwell’s novels.”

A week after China’s meeting of anti-religionists, China itself—with its record of religious freedom violations, genocide and human rights abuses—was the first nation taken up at the IRFBA conference.

In December 2023, the U.S. State Department announced that China is now formally designated a Country of Particular Concern for its egregious and continuing violations of religious freedom.