(CNS) Catholics in China need prayers, Pope says at audience

The persecuted Catholic Church in China needs and deserves the prayers of Catholics throughout the world, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“There, as elsewhere, Christ is living his passion” because of government restrictions and pressures on the church, the pope said May 18 at the end of his weekly general audience.

He asked Catholics everywhere to observe May 24, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, as a day of prayer for Catholics in mainland China. Pope Benedict established the annual day of prayer in 2007 when he wrote a letter to Catholics in China outlining ways to promote greater unity between those exercising their faith clandestinely and those participating in communities overseen by the government-backed Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

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