The state of religious freedom in China is moving from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), responding to a new report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
“There’s a huge gulf now” between China and the Catholic Church, Smith stated during an Oct. 9 conference call with reporters. He acknowledged that “the underground church has been brutally persecuted in China, both Protestant and Catholic,” but said that now even the state-recognized church is facing persecution.
“The Patriotic Church, the Catholic Church, they are being targeted with church demolitions and other kinds of repression which we have not seen before. So there’s a great deal of concern that religious freedom, as bad as it was, has further deteriorated in China.”
Smith and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) co-hosted the teleconference, focusing on the latest annual report from the human rights monitoring group, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Both lawmakers cited various ways that the Chinese government has infringed upon the freedom of its citizens, including gross violations of human rights and targeting churches.
Smith cited a statement from the report: “Chinese authorities continued to harass, detain, imprison, and interfere with the religious activities of members of both registered and unregistered Protestant communities who ran afoul of government or party policy.”
It is very easy to “run afoul of government policy,” Smith added, noting that simply meeting to talk about religion could be a violation… Read More
Source and Original Content by Catholic News Agency
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