CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Speaking out for religious freedom

Hong Kong (SE): “Facing all this persecution, we cannot take it for granted. We cannot stand idly,” Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former bishop of Hong Kong, told around 100 protesters gathered at the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Sai Wan, on April 24. 

He called on the authorities in Beijing to end the persecution of Christians and to respect religious freedom. 

UCA News reported the cardinal as saying, “If we don’t speak out, we are the accomplices.” 

Cardinal Zen voiced concern that the persecution might spread even to Hong Kong, AsiaNews reported. 

“We in Hong Kong can see the possibility of the anti-Christian campaign spreading from the mainland,” he said.

Among the groups present were diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission, The Hong Kong Christian Institute, Christians for Hong Kong Society and Christian Social Concern Fellowship.

The Justice and Peace Commission also concluded a petition campaign asking Pope Francis to urge the Chinese government to cease the removal of church crosses and to pray for two missing bishops from Hebei:  84-year-old Bishop James Su Zhimin, from Baoding, and 95-year-old Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang, from Yixian. 

Or Yan-yan, the commission’s project officer said, “We hope the pope can include the cross-removal campaign and the two missing bishops in his prayers” on May 24, the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China.

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