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U.S. House criticizes China on religious freedom

Written by: Staff

Washington, June 13 : The U S House of Representatives passed resolutions criticizing China for increased levels of religious persecutions and honoring victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

The House approved three resolutions on China by wide margins with limited debate.

One marked the 17th anniversary of the democratic uprising in Tiananmen Square. Another condemned ''escalating levels'' of religious persecution in China, and the third rejected the ''state-sponsored'' ordination of Catholic leaders.

China, which broke ties with the Vatican in the 1950s after expelling foreign clergy, refuses to allow Catholics to recognize the authority of the Pope.

Pope Benedict last month censured China publicly for installing two bishops without the Holy See's approval.

''It is unprecedented, but wholly appropriate that the House pass three resolutions in one day to remember, and seek freedom for all prisoners of conscience, all believers, democrats, and human rights activists, who will one day triumph in China, but now suffer grievously,'' declared New Jersey Republican Rep.

Chris Smith, who pushed the resolution yesterday.

''It has been 17 years since the Chinese government unleashed the People's Liberation Army on its own defenseless people in Tiananmen Square,'' said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. ''Today, the House of Representatives pays tribute to the brave souls who stood up for freedom, only to be met with a hail of bullets and a new era of repression.''


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