Vatican Levels New Charges of Religious Oppression Against China

September 11, 2004

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: Reuters

On September 11, 2004 Reuters reported, "The Vatican (news - web sites) accused China Saturday of launching a fresh crackdown on Roman Catholics, upping the ante in its war of words against the Communist state. Chief Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls said in a statement that eight priests and two seminary students had been detained last month in northern China -- the latest in a long line of Catholics seized by Chinese police in recent years. 'If this news is indeed true, then we would find ourselves yet again facing a grave violation of religious freedom, which is a fundamental human right,' Navarro Valls said. China does not allow its Catholics to recognize the Pope's authority and forces Christians to belong to state-backed patriotic associations if they want to worship openly."