Pope Francis celebrates the mass on the occasion of the Christ the King feast in St.. . St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Nov.. . 22nd. (AP photo)
China criticized Pope Francis on Tuesday for a passage in his new book mentioning the suffering of the Uighur Muslim minority in China.
« People of all ethnicities enjoy full rights to survival, development and freedom of religion, » Zhao said at a daily meeting.
Zhao did not mention the camps where more than 1 million Uyghurs and members of other Chinese Muslim minority groups were held. The U. S.. . and other governments, along with human rights groups, say the prison-like facilities are designed to separate Muslims from their religious and cultural heritage in order to force them to declare loyalty to the ruling Chinese Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping.
China, which originally denied the existence of the facilities, is now saying that these are centers that offer professional training on a voluntary basis and prevent terrorism and religious extremism.
In his new book « Let Us Dream », due in December. 1, Francis listed the « poor Uighurs » among examples of groups persecuted for their beliefs.
Francis wrote of the need to see the world from the peripheries and margins of society, “to places of sin and misery, exclusion and suffering, sickness and loneliness. ”
In such places of suffering I often think of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi – what ISIS did to them was really cruel – or Christians in Egypt and Pakistan who were killed by bombs while they were in of the Church, ”wrote Francis.
Francis has refused to call on China for its crackdown on religious minorities, including Catholics, much to the horror of the Trump administration and human rights groups. The Vatican last month renewed its controversial agreement with Beijing to appoint Catholic bishops, and Francis was careful not to say or do anything to offend the Chinese government in this area.
On Tuesday, the Vatican confirmed that Qingdao Bishop Thomas Chen Tianhao had recently been ordained bishop with papal approval as a result of the 2018 agreement, the third ordination. In a statement, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the Holy See expects more bishops to be nominated as a result of the agreement, « because several procedures for new episcopal nominations are ongoing. ”
China and the Vatican have had no formal relationship since the Communist Party cut ties and arrested Catholic clergy shortly after taking power in 1949.
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Pope Francis, Uyghur, China
World News – AU – China criticizes Pope over comment on Uyghur Muslim minority: The Asahi Shimbun
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