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RFA: China’s New Regulations Caused Further Suppression of the Catholic Religion

Radio Free Asia (RFA) recently reported that, starting in May, China implemented its new “Measures for the Administration of Religious Staff.” The new regulations require that the staff members in all religious groups must support the Chinese Communist Party. Those Catholic clergymen who refused to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which was blessed by the Communist Party but not recognized by the Vatican, were the first to face suppression. On May 21 and 22 in Hebei Province, hundreds of policemen surrounded a monastery and detained Bishop Zhang Weizhu, seven priests and more than 10 monks. Since the Hebei Xinxiang Diocese did not want to join the Patriotic Association, it was recognized as illegal under the new regulations; hence the crackdown. All Catholic families in the diocese were searched and fined for possession of Catholic symbols. The police also confiscated those Catholic symbols, their crosses, pictures of the Pope, statues or portraits of saints, and all of the religious symbols that they had.

Source: RFA, May 23, 2021