Eight Catholic church leaders from the diocese of Datong in China have issued an open letter pleading with the Vatican to help in the persecution that they face and to not make compromises with the Chinese government.
AsiaNews, which provided a translation of the letter earlier this week, revealed that the church leaders address the government that they say is denying them religious freedom, but also the faithful around the world.
The Datong priests, who have been without a bishop since 2005, declare in their letter that they “cannot sit down silent without any concern, even more we cannot stand by with folded arms.”
“What is worth of our concern is the freedom of religious faith since it is a fundamental human right, that cannot be violated, forbidden or taken away. Obviously, many statements and proposals of the Government, we must not necessarily agree upon and accept, some of them we even oppose,” they wrote.
“But, it is not possible to take away our freedom and right because we have a different faith. As a community of believers, we are even more concerned with the freedom of speech, since it cannot be separated from freedom of religion: without one there cannot be the other!”
The church leaders continue: “We now receive your control. The cross of our church and even the whole church has been demolished. The freedom of the faithful to attend our meetings is opposed. The church is forced to accept the guide of the Chinese Government. All these things make us worried and dissatisfied.”
They add: “As believers, we know that the future decides the present. With this joint declaration of ours we hope that you can respect the right of the Church, respect every person: this is a bottom line that cannot be overtaken.”
Further detailing the persecution they have faced, the Christians state that the Communist government has blocked them from buying Bibles from the internet, and has restricted large congregation meetings.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov