According to Nina Shea, reporter for the Epoch Times, a series of four “vitriolic” articles appeared at the end of 2021 in Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao newspaper, the Chinese state-backed newspaper in Hong Kong, which all emphasized the need for greater state control over religion.

Targeting the staunchly anti-Communist Cardinal Joseph Zen, retired Bishop of Hong Kong, one article “also accuses the 90-year-old cardinal of associating with Hong Kong entrepreneur, and founder of the pro-democracy media Apple Daily, Jimmy Lai, and former Hong Kong legislator Martin Lee, both Catholics arrested for their strong pro-democracy stance. Mr. Lai is currently serving a 14-month prison term, on a conviction of ‘inciting riots,’ after he attended a peaceful candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.”

Provocatively headlined, “Cardinal Zen uses his status as a clergyman to disrupt Hong Kong,” the report states, “It is difficult for the government to regulate or eliminate these religious groups or individuals, despite the fact that they have committed many crimes.”

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