CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

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Religious persecution up in China

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution claims that as many as 20,000 people suffered from what can be classified as religious persecution in China during 2015.

Nevertheless, The Christian Post reported on May 24 that despite increasing persecution, the number of Christians in the country continues to grow.

“In 2015, China Aid documented 634 cases of persecution in which 19,426 religious practitioners were persecuted, representing an 8.62 per cent increase from 2014’s 17,884 religious practitioners persecuted,” the report states.

“A number of factors led to the increase, including a widespread, barbaric round up of China’s human rights legal professionals, activists and family members in July 2015,” it adds.

Christians have particularly been targeted in the ongoing church and rooftop-cross demolition campaign, which has taken down hundreds of crosses from places of worship in the past couple of years.

Hundreds of Christians, including pastors and lawyers, have been arrested for speaking out against the ongoing persecution, though the Chinese government has claimed it is only tackling building code violations.

China Aid warned that it is not only Christians who are being persecuted, noting that followers of Tibetan Buddhism and Islam are likely to have experienced even more intense government persecution.

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