Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Brendan Smith TD has stated that the crackdown on Christian worshippers in China is of great concern and has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to raise this matter with the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland.
It has been reported that at least nine people have been detained by the Chinese authorities in August. 1,200 crosses have been reportedly removed from churches while several churches have been completely demolished.
Deputy Smith stated: “The latest actions by the Chinese authorities in seeking to control or completely remove Christian religious symbols or demolish places of worship completely as well as detain Christian worshippers is of great concern. This crackdown, which is happening under the radar of the world’s media, has resulted in an increased fear amongst the Christian community in China.
“I am calling on our Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan to meet with the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland and outline his great unease at the current actions being carried out by the Chinese authorities. Ireland and China have a very close and friendly relationship which has been developed over many years.
“I speak as someone who has led trade missions to China and who would consider China a friend of Ireland. However, despite our friendly relationship we cannot turn a blind eye to the abuse of the Christian population in China. I hope Minister Flanagan will heed my call.”