The Church in China Asks the UN to “End Religious Repression in China”

Hong Kong , the Church appeals to the UN: “An end to religious repression in China”

ICC Note:

The Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong is bringing attention to the grievous violation of human and religious rights in China. “It points to priests who have been placed under illegal surveillance, house arrest, detention, abducted without trace, illegally confined in hotel rooms, forced to attend political classes, conferences or religious activities that are contrary to Church teaching, and even tortured as having their rights to religious freedom abused.”

9/16/2013 China (AsiaNews)- The Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong diocese is requesting the Universal Periodic Review Regarding Religious Freedom in the People’s Republic of China from the United Nations (UN) to urge Beijing to adhere to the requirements of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to both of which it is a signatory.

The formal submission was released by the Justice and Peace commission of Hong Kong diocese on July 18, but only submitted on September 2 at a pre-session hearing ahead of the scheduled periodic review of the mainland’s human rights record, which is set for October 22. The Justice and Peace Commission reported in early September that four priests from unofficial Catholic communities in China were detained during August, which adds to the list of those who are still being held in various parts of the country.

It points out that both the registered, or official communities, and the unregistered, or unofficial communities, have suffered as a result of these policies which it labels a violation of human rights. It points to priests who have been placed under illegal surveillance, house arrest, detention, abducted without trace, illegally confined in hotel rooms, forced to attend political classes, conferences or religious activities that are contrary to Church teaching, and even tortured as having their rights to religious freedom abused.It is also claiming that Catholic people are denied the right of freedom of association, as they are sometimes forced to join government-registered groups and, consequently, their religious freedom is being distorted.

“Therefore, the faithful in China have not only their religious freedom distorted, but also their personal liberty and freedom of association being violated,” the statement says. The commission points out that this is in direct conflict with Article 18 of the Declaration on Human Rights and also Article 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

It is also asking it to urge the Chinese authorities to stop violating religious rights, respect Church authority and allow it to freely exercise its mandate and carry out normal religious practices and activities without interference.

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