ADHRRF – On February 8, 2018, an event on the theme of “Christians in Asia, Martyrs and Hope” was held by St. Protasius Cultural Center (Centro Culturale San Protaso) of AIC (Italian Association of Cultural Centers) in Osoppo Cinema Theatre. By narrating the persecution of Christians from the churches in Asia, especially those in India and China, the event called on more people to learn about and pay attention to the current status of Christian belief in Asia. More than 100 people, including caring people and journalists, participated in the event.
Priest Bernardo Cervellera, Director of AsiaNews, was invited to attend the event as the major spokesperson. It’s reported that priest Bernardo Cervellera taught History of Western Civilization at Peking University from 1995 to 1997, so he knows very well the real situation of the CCP’s persecution to Christians.
Bernardo Cervellera said in his speech that Catholicism is not recognized by the CCP government in China. The CCP government regards religious beliefs as its enemies and uses various methods to repress the Catholic underground churches. Many Bishops were arrested and many Christians cannot attend Mass in church. Some Christians were fined heavily; some have been driven from their home, fleeing everywhere; some were even sentenced to jail. There is no freedom of belief in China and Christians have been persecuted because of their belief.
During the event, he used the projected display to show the scenes of some churches destroyed in China, among which the Golden Lampstand Church in Fushan County, Linfen, Shanxi Province being forcibly destroyed by the CCP government on January 9, 2018 attracted the attention of the guests present.
After the event, when asked how to help the Chinese Christians, priest Bernardo Cervellera said in the interview that all religions and believers are persecuted by the CCP government, and Christians are always in danger, so the only way to help them is to appeal to all governments to guarantee the freedom of religion.
Paolo Rivera, President of St. Protasius Cultural Center, pointed out that this event aims to make people better understand the current situation of Christians in Asia, because people living in the countries with freedom of religion are not aware of the fact that many Christians are suffering persecution in the world due to their belief.
Event guest, Luca Tando said in the interview that the religious situation in some countries is very tough and the Christians will suffer persecution even for going to church. Those who adhere to their belief in suffering are good examples to Italian Christians.