As the Olympic torch is carried around the world, amidst demonstrations drawing attention to China's troubled record on human rights, Christian groups have launched a global call for prayer for China. The Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP), with member organisations that include Open Doors International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and the Voice of the Martyrs (Canada), has called the worldwide Christian community to pray for China during this Summer Olympics year. "The call for prayer is rooted in the fact that the RLP wanted to acknowledge some progress in China's attitude toward religious liberty and also the part Christians play at all levels of Chinese society," said Mervyn Thomas, CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, UK, and Chairman of the RLP leadership team. Although the Chinese constitution promises religious freedom, in reality, all faiths in China, from the Buddhists, Falan Gong practitioners and Muslims are often still not allowed to practice their faith freely. There are currently about 70 Catholic bishops in prison in China, along with hundreds of priests, nuns and laypeople. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) say on their website: " The brutal oppression meted out during the Cultural Revolution still haunts the Church and yet miraculously there are now many new shoots of hope. In this Olympic year, please help China's Catholics pass on the Torch of Faith to a new generation. Please pray that the faith of Chinese Catholics continues to grow and that religious freedom becomes a reality for all." For more information about the work of Aid to the Church in Need, or to support their work, see: www.acn.org.uk/
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