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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Religious persecution intensified

Will the Pope change China—there is no harm in trying.

Excerpt: In addition to Christians, Muslim Uighurs and ethnic Tibetans have come under government scrutiny with the most famous case involving the Dalai Lama, a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism who has been forbidden to return to Tibet. Since 1999, beatings, imprisonments, torture and murders have escalated against the Falun Gong religious movement which Beijing has identified as an “evil cult.”

To address the increased persecution of Chinese Christians, Pope Benedict XVI said this week that the Holy See would continue its efforts to improve diplomatic relations with China. “The Vatican will continue the path of respectful and constructive dialogue with the governmental authorities so as to overcome past misunderstandings,” a Vatican statement said. In a meeting at the Vatican residence with several Chinese Roman Catholic bishops, the Pope said he would send a personal letter to Catholics in the country very soon expressing his support for the free expression of religious beliefs. (more)

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