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Ricky Wong/REX
World News

China and Vatican make historic deal

by Eno Adeogun

With Pope Francis recently recognising seven bishops appointed by China, it's hoped the move "will allow the wounds of the past to be overcome".

Beijing has long insisted that the state must approve the appointment of bishops in China.

 

Tamzin Taylor from Christian charity Open Doors told Premier the situation for Christians in the country has "vastly improved".

She explained: "From the time when Christianity was banned completely and totally, to now when Christianity is tolerated "people are just waiting to see whether actually the tide of tolerance is turning and in fact, the government is taking control."

Catholics in China currently face the choice of attending state-sanctioned churches approved by Beijing or worshipping in underground churches that have pledged allegiance to the Vatican.

Taylor said the Chinese government's view of religion clashed with Christians in the country.

 

"China is a communist country and for the Chinese government the state should come first and the religion should come second," she said.

"Because you above all things need to be a loyal party member and pro the Chinese state as a good Chinese citizen.

"However the conflict arises that for Christians their overarching loyalty is to God and to Jesus and that comes in direct tension then with their loyalty to the party- so that's where difficulties arise.

There are an estimated 10 million Catholics in China.

Listen to Tamzin Taylor speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:

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