Hong Kong's Coming Religious Crackdown


Cardinal Joseph Zen attends a mass for the Chinese Catholic church in Hong Kong, May 24.



Freedom of speech, meeting and the press are gone in Hong Kong, and there’s good purpose to worry non secular liberty would be the subsequent goal.

That was the warning from Monsignor

Javier Herrera-Corona,

the Vatican’s unofficial envoy in Hong Kong, as he ready to go away town this spring after six years. Reuters experiences that in 4 personal conferences he inspired some 50 Catholic missions within the metropolis to safeguard their property, recordsdata and funds in anticipation of extra mainland Chinese management.

“Change is coming, and you’d better be prepared,”

Monsignor Herrera-Corona

warned the missionaries, based on Reuters, which quoted an attendee as summarizing the monsignor’s message: “Hong Kong is not the great Catholic beachhead it was.”

Hong Kong’s Basic Law ensures freedom of faith, and various faiths have flourished there. The metropolis has additionally lengthy been a haven for mainland Christians, who traveled to Hong Kong to check. Father

Laszlo Ladany,

a Hungarian Jesuit based mostly in Hong Kong, famously reported on Chinese political and authorized developments in the course of the Mao Zedong period.

Yet China has violated different liberties it swore to respect underneath the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and there’s no purpose to imagine non secular freedom shall be an exception.

The Communist Party has put in

Xia Baolong

—who presided over a crackdown on Catholic and Protestant church buildings in Zhejiang Province—as the top of its Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. In May Hong Kong authorities arrested 90-year-old Cardinal

Joseph Zen

underneath the brand new nationwide safety regulation. His supposed crime is that he was a trustee for the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which supported contributors of the 2019 pro-democracy protests.

Communist Party chief

Xi Jinping

has tightened management over faith in China to a level not seen since Mao. The U.S. has declared China’s therapy of Uighur Muslims a genocide, and its oppression of

Falun Gong

practitioners is longstanding. Beijing claims authority to nominate clergymen and pastors and dictate sermons. It has arrested mainland Catholic clergy and Protestant pastors, razed church buildings and confiscated non secular texts.

Monsignor Herrera-Corona’s warning underscores the folly of the Vatican’s 2018 try and appease Beijing by permitting Communist Party discretion over the appointment of Catholic bishops. Cardinal Zen stated the key pact was “selling out the Catholic Church in China,” which might be the true purpose for his arrest. The crackdown on believers has proceeded regardless of Rome’s concessions, and the cope with Beijing will tarnish

Pope Francis’s

report as head of the Church.

Beijing reserves particular animus for mainland church buildings that welcome international missionaries or keep ties with believers overseas. Hong Kong’s nationwide safety regulation prohibits “collusion” with vaguely outlined international forces or exterior components. Don’t be shocked if the Communist Party makes use of this provision towards believers. Under the nationwide safety regulation, the utmost sentence is life in jail.

Main Street (12/07/20): Hong Kong’s Jimmy Lai goes to jail—and Pope Francis says nothing. Images: Reuters/Zuma Press Composite: Mark Kelly

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Source: www.wsj.com