Earlier this year, Pope Francis threw in the towel on the Catholic Church’s decades-long fight for the rights of persecuted Catholics in China. An agreement, the text of which remains hidden from the public, gives the Chinese government effective control over who chooses church leaders in the country.
In China, the country’s Catholics have been split between an underground church loyal to the Vatican, and a state-supervised “Catholic Patriotic Association.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department, despite having an office devoted to religious freedom and an embassy in the Vatican, didn’t object.
Earlier this month, four Catholic priests were rounded up or placed under house arrest and reportedly subjected to indoctrination and pressure to join the government’s religious body.
The move comes amid a broader crackdown on religion that has seen crosses on churches burned, and pictures of Xi and former Chinese dictator Mao Zedong installed near altars. Churches are closely monitored and some have been forced to install Orwellian facial-recognition technology.
Christians around the world need to pray for our leaders and the many Christians around the world facing persecution for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ.