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Chinese Christian Attorney Tortured, Disappeared - by Lord David Alton PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 April 2009

During a recent visit to China I met lawyers representing Chen Guangcheng, the blind human rights activist, jailed for four years after exposing China's one child policy.

Chen lived in the city of Linyi in Shandong Province where more than 120,000 women had been forcibly aborted or sterilized. Chen is known as a bare -foot lawyer – someone who has taught himself the law and then been willing to go into the courts to defend plaintiffs unable to hire professional lawyers.

Being willing to stand before the Chinese courts and to challenge unjust laws is itself a dangerous business. Chen's own lawyer, who is based in Beijing, told me that when he traveled up to Shandong to represent Chen he was himself beaten up and left for dead by the roadside.

After Chen first exposed the coercive population policy he was put under house arrest, physically abused, and then disappeared for a time. Human Rights Watch said: “His case is a text book example of how little the rule of law really means in China.”



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Chinese Christian Gao Zhisheng PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 April 2009

Please go to the following link to sign the petition to free Chinese Christian attorney, Gao Zhisheng who has been missing for almost 70 days:

Because of his human rights advocacy, including advocacy for persecuted Christians, Gao has been repeatedly kidnapped and tortured. During this Easter season, let us keep him in our prayers -- he has certainly joined the fellowship of Christ's suffering.

"Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:3.

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China's Catholics celebrate tense Easter PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 April 2009

BEIJING (AFP) — Easter for China's Catholics has a familiar ring this year as priests and activists say 60 years of government repression of those loyal to the Pope shows no sign of easing.

"The situation is going from bad to worse," said Joseph Kung of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, a US-based Catholic activist group.

Followers of the underground Church continue to be detained, he said.

China has millions of Catholics who either attend mass at official churches overseen by the communist government, or who are part of illegal, "underground" congregations.

The latter are loyal to the Pope, and run the risk of being questioned, beaten and even imprisoned, according to Kung and other critics.

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'Underground' bishop taken away as Vatican's China Commission meets PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 April 2009

HONG KONG (UCAN) -- Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, 74, was taken from his residence in Hebei province on March 30, the day the Vatican's Commission for the Catholic Church in China began its meeting in Rome.

China Church sources said five police officers took Bishop Jia, who is not affiliated with the government-approved "open" Church community, from Christ the King Cathedral in Wuqiu, a village near the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.

The Vatican commission is holding its second plenary meeting from March 30 to April 1 in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI established it in 2007 to study issues related to the Church in China.

A Catholic source said provincial government officials in the Shijiazhuang area "wanted to meet Bishop Jia, and the prelate would be away for a few days."

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