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Press Release - September 16, 2000

Contact: Joseph Kung
PO Box 8086, Stamford, CT 06905, U.S.A
Tel: 203-329-9712 Fax: 203-329-8415 E-Mail: jmkung@aol.com

China Crushes Religious Freedom as the U.S. Senate Considers Normalizing Trade Relations:
An Opportunity for the Holy See to Speak Out

Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. - For the third time within 3 weeks, The Cardinal Kung Foundation reports the arrests and beatings of the underground Roman Catholic bishops, priests, nuns, and laypersons.

In Jiangxi province, the frail 81-year-old Bishop ZENG Jingmu, underground Roman Catholic Bishop of Yu Jiang, was arrested again by the Chinese government on September 14, 2000. Bishop Zeng has been under house arrest for the past 27 months, which immediately followed 3 years of imprisonment. During the period of 1955 to 1995, he was imprisoned for 30 years. He was ordained a priest in 1949 and consecrated a bishop in 1990.

Arrested with Bishop Zeng were Father LIAO Haiqing and a Father Deng (Full name unknown). Father Liao Haiqing was previously arrested on August 4, 1995 and was released later. Other details of the arrests are not known at this time.

In Fujian province:

Joseph Kung, the president of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said: "The above reported atrocious acts of violence should be noted and taken into serious consideration by the United States Senate when it votes on its bill H.R. 4444 primarily for 'normal trade relations' for the People's Republic of China. The United States should not grant such 'normal trade relations' to China, which routinely practice atrocity on defenseless citizens simply for their practicing religion according to their conscience. This persistent policy and program of religious persecution by the Chinese government is a very serious violation of human rights. While His Eminence Roger Cardinal Etchegaray currently participates in an Italo-Chinese symposium on 'Religions and Peace' in China, we believe that the Cardinal should immediately protest the above-mentioned violent acts to the Chinese authority to the end that such acts of persecution should never occur again in China if China wishes to live within the true meaning of 'Religions and Peace.' Moreover, the Cardinal should also appeal to the Chinese government to release all the Roman Catholic faithful, including bishops and priests, currently in Chinese jails and labor camps."

A copy of this release with Chinese names will be sent to you by fax upon your request.