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Cardinal Zen: persecution of Church in China worsening, becoming more subtle

May 25, 2012

The persecution of the Church in China is becoming “more real and concrete,” Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, said in a recent interview.

“They are employing increasingly dangerous and skilled methods, because they no longer stop at just threatening people; instead, they are now leading them into temptation," he said. "They do not want to make martyrs, they want to encourage renegades. For the Church this is so much worse. They have the means to test people, good, weak or timid, and reduce them to obedience. Their tools are money, but also prestige, honor or positions in society

“What we need most today is to be faithful to the true nature of the Church--one, Catholic, apostolic, founded on the rock of Peter--as the Holy Father clearly explained in his letter of 2007,” added the prelate, who hopes for the day when Catholics “now still under the slavery of the Patriotic Association” reconcile with the faithful Catholics of the underground community.

“Humanly speaking, we see no intention of the government willing to recognize religious freedom, he continued. “But God, through Our Lady Help of Christians, can work miracles.”


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  • Posted by: Defender - May. 26, 2012 3:40 PM ET USA

    Human rights around the world have suffered due to America's lack of emphasis on certain areas, such as religion. Meanwhile, Catholic clergy languish in prisions or are held incommunicado. Chen Guangcheng might have left China earlier if his claim to fame hadn't dealt with China's single child policy and forced abortions - areas which this administration almost doesn't seem to entirely disagree with. I'm not so sure it couldn't happen here.

  • Posted by: mrschips19308196 - May. 25, 2012 10:39 PM ET USA

    "spledant' makes a very good observation.

  • Posted by: spledant7672 - May. 25, 2012 10:19 AM ET USA

    "...instead, they are now leading them into temptation...They do not want to make martyrs, they want to encourage renegades." Are you sure this article was about China?