Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
China again detains worshippers
Police prevent Shouwang church members from celebrating Easter outdoors in third raid
- Mike MacLachlan, London
- United Kingdom
- April 25, 2011
BBC television news showed police in plain clothes stopping people in the street and herding them on to buses to be taken away for questioning.
The crackdown was intended to prevent members of the Shouwang house church holding an open-air service as they have tried to do since their eviction from the building they had previously used as a church.
The Shouwang evangelical church in the northwestern district of Haidian is one of Beijingâ€™s biggest underground churches with more than 1,000 adherents, according to Damian Grammaticus, the BBCâ€™s Beijing correspondent.
There are 20 million worshippers at officially approved Christian churches in China, he said, but about 50 million underground.
The US based ChinaAid group, which monitors religious persecution in the country, said that as on the previous two Sundays police were waiting at the churchâ€™s designated outdoor meeting site in Zhongguancun.
Some church members were able to assemble in small groups in nearby restaurants, where they held impromptu services.
â€śWe are deeply disappointed that the Chinese authorities chose to disrupt peaceful worshippers who were simply celebrating Easter today,â€ť ChinaAid founder and president Pastor Bob Fu said in a statement.
Shouwangâ€™sÂ leaders, including its founder, Pastor Jin Tianming, have not been allowed out of their homes for more than two weeks, ChinaAid said. Also detained were the Shouwang choir, reputedly the best of the Beijing house church choirs. The choir had been practicing for months for the Easter celebration.