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
Jailed Chinese activist's health sparks concern
Ni Yulan has growing tumor: parole request rejected
Jailed Chinese activist Ni Yulan
- Mike MacLachlan, London
- July 8, 2013
Jailed Chinese activist Ni Yulan’s health is deteriorating, according to the UK-based rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
Ni’s problems include an untreated thyroid tumor detected last year, CSW said, adding that her daughter, who visited her last month, noticed that it had grown considerably.
Her family and lawyer applied for medical parole last October but the application was rejected in March, CSW said at the weekend.
Ni, a Christian and a practicing human rights lawyer, was arrested during a crackdown on dissent in April 2011 and went on trial that December.
Last April the BBC reported that she had been jailed for two years and eight months for “picking quarrels, provoking trouble and willfully destroying private and public property.”
Her husband, Dong Jiqin, was jailed for two years. Last July, her sentence was reduced by two months after a fraud charge was dropped.
The couple began campaigning for housing rights in Beijing in 2001, providing legal help for people whose homes had been seized by the government.
The following year Ni was arrested and beaten. She was left severely disabled by this treatment and unable to walk without crutches, CSW said.
Amnesty International said her kneecaps and bones in her feet were broken while in custody.
In December 2011 Ni was awarded the Dutch government’s Tulip Award for human rights defenders. Her daughter, Dong Xuan, was to receive the award on her behalf but was prevented from leaving China.