1 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/30/2011
HONG KONG – CHINA
Big rally in Hong Kong for religious freedom and the release of bishops and priests
by Annie Lam
Led by Card Zen, Hong Kong Catholics call on China to respect religious freedom and stop unlawful Episcopal ordinations. Outside the mainland’s Liaison Office, protesters condemned the torture and abduction of clergymen.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – More than 100 Catholics, led by Card Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, staged a protest last night (feast day of Saints Peter and Paul) outside the Liaison Office, China’s central government office in Hong Kong, to condemn China’s inhuman treatment of the clergy and demand the release of detained Church people.

Catholic representative Patrick Poon, who spoke at the rally outside, said Hong Kong Catholics were “forced to take to the street” because “human rights, particularly religious freedom,” of Chinese Catholics “have been seriously violated to an intolerable situation”.

Dozens of local police officers were stationed outside the office and along the way.

Poon also spoke about the “sad and regrettable illicit ordination” that took place in Leshan (Sichuan) yesterday. He mentioned also the legitimate ordination that was prevented from taking place in Handan (Hebei) where bishop-designate was kept away and his personal freedom endangered.

“The Chinese government’s obstinate move to continue the illicit ordinations is a serious show of disrespect for the Church and creates division and pain within the Churchn which we strongly protest,” he said.

Catholics demonstrated after attending a Mass presided by Cardinal Zen at a nearby chapel. The liturgy celebrated the feast day with prayers for the persecuted and suffering in China. The event was organised by the Hong Kong diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission.

Holding placards, banners and a big cross, the protesters sang hymns. Yellow ribbons were tied onto the barricade outside the gate of China’s Liaison Office, each with the name of a missing or detained member of the clergy onto. As usual, no one from the Office would receive the protesters’ letter, which was placed at the gate.

Protesters urged the government to investigate the cases of tortured priests. They also demanded apologies and compensations.

Poon said that priests in Zhangjiakou (Hebei) have been forced to accept so-called “priest-permit” and to follow the government-imposed principle of “independent, autonomous and self-organised Church”.

He cited the cases of Father Zhang Guangjun of Xuanhua (Hebei), who was badly beaten, and Father Chen Hailong, also of Xuanhua, who was taken away by officials on 9 April and whose whereabouts is still unknown.

Catholics are “concerned about the personal safety of all the clergymen who have disappeared or who have been detained for merely being loyal to their faith and for exercising their freedom of religion as enshrined in the Chinese Constitution,” Poon added.

Tomorrow is the 79th birthday of Bishop Su Zhimin of Baoding (Hebei), who has been missing for 14 years after he disappeared in 1997. He has spent one third of his life in detention.

“The Chinese authorities’ cruel and inhumane treatment against Bishop Su is outrageous,” Poon said.

Protesters also demanded to know the whereabouts of other clergymen, including Fr Lu Genjun of Baoding and Bishop Shi Enxiang of Yixian.

They also demanded the release of all detained Church people, including Fr Ma Wuyong and Fr Liu Honggeng of Baoding, and Fr Li Huisheng of Xiwanzi.

Catholics hope that Chinese authorities will “respect citizens’ freedom of religion and clergymen’s freedom of conscience as well as stop all unlawful ordinations of bishops,” Poon said.

Photo courtesy: Justice and Peace Commission, Hong Kong

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/06/2006 HONG KONG
Cardinal Zen joins prayer vigil for journalist arrested in China
06/06/2006 CHINA – HONG KONG
HK Chief Executive Donald Tsang ignores Vatican ban and goes to Kunming Bishop's mass
07/27/2011 HONG KONG - CHINA
Beijing: crackdown on Catholics, priests who challenge illegal ordinations denied entry
05/25/2010 HONG KONG – CHINA
Beijing “opening” to Hong Kong Democrats over reforms
06/27/2007 HONG KONG – CHINA
July 1 pro-democracy march to go ahead without restrictions

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.