US House passes resolutions condemning religious persecution in China

.- The House of Representatives on Monday approved three resolutions condemning China for their actions in the sphere of religion and human rights.

The first resolution condemns the communist country for its rising persecution of religious believers. The second resolution condemns China's appointment of Catholic bishops without the Vatican's approval, and the third urges remembrance of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrators who died in Tiananmen Square, reported The Associated Press.

China continues to maintain tight control over all religions. Those who practice Falun Gong, a banned spiritual movement, or who attend underground Protestant or Catholic churches routinely face detention, harassment and sometimes imprisonment.

China's state-sanctioned Catholic church, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, recently appointed several bishops without the pope's blessing.  Under canon law the Vatican considered those who took part in the ordination to be excommunicated.

China's Foreign Ministry complained on Tuesday saying the House Resolution was a "groundless accusation and attack against China's religious and human rights” that interfered in China's internal affairs.

Religious freedom and Christian persecution experts applauded the resolution condemning China for rising religious persecution.

“I think it is appropriate and long overdue,” said Nina Shea, director of Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom. “The U.S. should speak up about the barbaric and primitive treatment of its citizen over the most fundamental of human rights.”

“Many people think that China is a modernized country, but [our organization] reports daily on incidents on government persecution against Christians there,” said Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern. King applauded the resolutions but added that it was now time to apply real consequences to those abuses.

In May, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that China re-designated as a Country of Particular Concern for “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” that are “systematic, ongoing, and egregious.” China is also listed as number 10 in Open Doors USA 2006 World Watch list for worst Christian persecution.

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