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Congress Finds Catholic Persecution Worse after Vatican-China Deal

A new U.S. government report says that human rights abuse in China has worsened in the last year, and specifically highlighted the escalating persecution of Chinese Catholics in the wake of the Vatican-China agreement of 2018.

“During its 2019 reporting year, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China found that the human rights situation has worsened and the rule of law continued to deteriorate, as the Chinese government and Party increasingly used regulations and laws to assert social and political control,” stated the commission’s annual report, released on Wednesday.

The report said that “After the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed an agreement with the Holy See in September 2018 paving the way for unifying the state-sanctioned and underground Catholic communities, local Chinese authorities subjected Catholic believers in China to increasing persecution by demolishing churches, removing crosses, and continuing to detain underground clergy.”

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The report’s time frame covers human rights in China from August 2018 to August 2019. The commission was established by Congress in 2000, as China was set to enter the World Trade Organization, to report on human rights in the country and to maintain a database of political prisoners.

Wednesday’s report notes the rise of mass internment camps in the country’s western Xinjiang province, the brutal persecution of Christians, Muslims, and other unregistered churches or religious groups, and repression of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

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