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The trial of former bishop of Hong Kong and retired Cardinal Joseph Zen has been postponed.
Zen, a high-profile Catholic cleric and opponent of the Chinese language Communist Occasion, might be out of courtroom for at the least two extra days after Everlasting Justice of the Peace Ada Yim Shun-yee was recognized with COVID-19.
Shun-yee was overseeing the trial, which started Sept. 19.
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The aged cardinal’s trial was anticipated to wrap up by Sept. 25, however the COVID-19 scare is predicted to considerably lengthen the method.
Zen was arrested earlier this yr by the Chinese language Communist Occasion (CCP) for allegedly colluding with international forces by failing to register his pro-democracy charity fund with the federal government.
The 90-year-old cardinal was arrested with 4 different pro-democracy advocates who served as trustees of a aid fund used to bail out protesters and pay authorized charges, in response to Catholic Information Company. The 5 arrestees are charged with not registering the charity with the federal government.
All 5 have submitted pleas of not responsible.
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Along with Zen, others on trial embody Barrister Margaret Ng, singer-activist Denise Ho, scholar Hui Po-keung, former legislator Cyd Ho and activist Sze Ching-wee, who served because the fund’s secretary normal earlier than it shut down final October. Zen has been out on bail since Could 11.
Zen beforehand dismissed fears that he was a goal for arrest, stating that he tries to not provoke the CCP. Nonetheless, he later acknowledged that “no public one who dares to talk freely can really feel protected anymore.”
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Zen is on the epicenter of the Catholic Church‘s battle for survival in China. The nation has rolled out intense censures on non secular expression, together with Christianity, which it regulates via state-sponsored “patriotic associations.” Chinese language residents who want to worship at a Catholic Church (or some other home of worship) are required to register with an aggressively pro-CCP governing physique for his or her religion.
These organizations typically power church buildings to show counter to their dogma, and infrequently insert nationalistic propaganda into worship. This regulation has pressured a schism within the Chinese language Catholic Church – the “official” and CCP-approved ministry, and the clandestine, unlawful “underground church.”
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Zen has served as an unofficial spokesman for the underground Catholic neighborhood, which has seen little assist or safety from the Chinese language authorities. The CCP explicitly condemns the underground church for its affiliation and loyalty to a international energy – the worldwide Catholic communion.