China’s Catholics celebrate tense Easter

Easter for China’s Catholics has a familiar ring this year as priests and activists say 60 years of government repression of those loyal to the Pope shows no sign of easing. “The situation is going from bad to worse,” said Joseph Kung of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, a US-based Catholic activist group. Followers of the underground Church continue to be detained, he said. China has millions of Catholics who either attend mass at official churches overseen by the communist government, or who are part of illegal, “underground” congregations. The latter are loyal to the Pope, and run the risk of being questioned, beaten and even imprisoned, according to Kung and other critics.