CHINA—The United States has stepped up pressure on Catholic charities in China, with the State Department urging the Chinese government to do more to prevent abuse of vulnerable people by charities and to enforce their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The U.S. Embassy issued a joint statement with the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Sunday, urging the government to crack down on abuses and to ensure victims receive redress.
“We have also raised our concerns with the Chinese authorities about abuse of charities in the past,” the embassy said.
The State Department said that in recent months, Chinese authorities have arrested hundreds of people in connection with charities in response to the allegations of abuse by a group of missionaries.
Chinese authorities say the missionaries are innocent and the accusations are politically motivated.
The Vatican, which has a large population of Chinese Catholics, has issued a statement urging Chinese authorities to respect religious freedom and to respect international humanitarian law.
China has said it is committed to improving the lives of the poor and developing countries.