The Corner


Twenty Things That Caught My Eye Today: Good Friday Crackdown in London & More


2. Chinese Christians Held in Secretive Brainwashing Camps

A member of a Christian “house church” in the southwestern province of Sichuan who asked to be identified by a pseudonym Li Yuese said he was held in a facility run by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s United Front Work Department, working in tandem with the state security police, for 10 months after a raid on his church in 2018.

“It was a mobile facility, that could just set up in some basement somewhere,” Li said. “It was staffed by people from several different government departments.”

. . .

Li said he was held in a windowless room for nearly 10 months, during which time he was beaten, verbally abused and “mentally tortured” by staff, eventually resorting to self-harm by throwing himself against a wall.

3. Robert Nicholson, Toufic Baaklini: Lebanon Can Be Saved, But America Must Act Now

President Joe Biden can prevent a foreign takeover in Lebanon, but only if he acts quickly. Given the high stakes, he and his team should do exactly what our friends are asking them to do: lead the way for an international summit that will push for Lebanon’s political reform, recognize its formal neutrality, and open peace talks with its neighbors.



6. ABC News: A hidden army of ‘very brave nuns’ fight child trafficking

Paite is not a lone crusader. She’s part of a vast but little-known network of Catholic nuns dedicated to fighting human trafficking across the globe. The organization, Talitha Kum, was formed in Rome in 2009 and now operates quietly in 92 countries.

The group is made up of roughly 60,000 religious sisters. The work they do is often dangerous and daring — confronting pimps on darkened streets, patrolling dusty alleys that host brothels. The sisters also operate safe houses in several countries, providing refuge for women and girls fleeing their captors.


8. Los Angeles: How Beijing silences Chinese voices against oppression of Uyghurs

Li’s case demonstrates how the Chinese government silences discussion about its harsh policies in Xinjiang, even as it claims that all its citizens support them. Last week, the European Union, U.K., U.S. and Canada issued sanctions on Chinese officials for their arbitrary detention and abuse of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Beijing retaliated with counter-sanctions on Western officials, lawyers, activists and scholars.

9. Raffi Khatchadourian: Surviving The Crackdown In Xinjiang



12. William McGurn: Asian-Americans Feel the Hate

Mr. Elliot’s crime is an even tougher fit for the white-supremacy narrative because the 38-year-old attacker is African-American. What makes him particularly embarrassing is that his example raises the larger issue of black-on-Asian crime, which the narrative’s champions are desperate to suppress or ignore.

In a thoughtful March 19 piece for the Weekly Dish on how debilitating this is for news coverage, Andrew Sullivan cites the Justice Department’s 2019 Criminal Victimization report to note that “of those committing violence against Asians, you discover that 24 percent such attacks are committed by whites; 24 percent are committed by fellow Asians, 7 percent by Hispanics; and 27.5 percent by African-Americans.”

13. USA Today: Iran nuclear deal on the table for the Biden administration

The Biden administration will participate in multilateral negotiations Tuesday over the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. American and Iranian negotiators will not hold direct talks, but both countries will have diplomats in Austria for the meetings. They will be facilitated by a top European Union official and other parties to the 2015 agreement. Under the Obama-era deal, Iran agreed to cap its nuclear enrichment, among other steps, in exchange for international sanctions relief.  President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran. Subsequently, Iran breached the deal’s limits on nuclear enrichment. Back in the U.S., progressives seek a speedy return to the deal, arguing that any further delay is dangerous. Republicans and some hawkish Democrats want Biden to hold out for a broader deal that not only curbs Iran’s nuclear program but also limits its ballistic missile program, its support for terrorist groups, and other malign activities.

14. Reuters: Church complains after UK police shut down London Good Friday service

Footage on social media showed two officers entering the Christ the King Polish Catholic Church in Balham, south London, while the service was taking place.

One was heard telling the congregation: “This gathering is unfortunately unlawful under the coronavirus regulations we have currently. You are not allowed to meet inside with this many people under law.”

Those who failed to comply with instructions to go home could be fined 200 pounds ($275) or arrested, the officer said.


16. The Detroit News: Judge finds Wayne State violated rights of student religious group

In his ruling Monday, Cleland said the First Amendment provides religious organizations the right to select their own ministers. 

. . .

The university, Cleland wrote, “cannot limit access to public forums for ‘certain points of view,’ while permitting others to engage in the same expressive activity to offer different views. Yet, as demonstrated by the facial reading of defendants’ non-discrimination policy and in the policy’s application, defendants have barred plaintiffs from selecting leaders that share its Christian views while allowing other groups to engage in similar form of leadership selection. This divergent treatment cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

17. National Catholic Reporter: European Catholics fear erosion of religious freedoms across continent

“There are real anxieties that the lockdowns are being exploited as a pretext for new restrictions,” Antoine Renard, international administrator of France’s Association of Catholic Families, told NCR.

“It often seems politicians no longer understand the importance of religion,” said Renard. “Against this, Catholics will have to be very clear about their rights and use all legal possibilities to defend [themselves].”

18. Coronavirus immunity a requirement for Mecca pilgrims, Saudi Arabia says

The policy would effectively “raise the operational capacity” of the Grand Mosque during Ramadan, authorities said, adding that the condition also applies for entry into the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in Medina.

The umrah will be allowed to return to full capacity once the threat of the pandemic has abated.

19. Triplets thriving despite doctors pushing ‘selective termination’ on parents

Mother Becky told the Mail: “We thought if we lose one or all of them it means they weren’t meant to survive, but they came out kicking and screaming.”

“The birth was an incredible experience”, she added, revealing: “It was a miracle. The anaesthetist actually shouted ‘Jesus!’ when they came out screaming and crying.

“He said he couldn’t believe they were all crying because their lungs were not developed yet.”

20. Matthew J. Franck: The Bookshelf: Good Books into Better Movies

Many of the books behind our favorite films are very much worth reading. But the medium of cinema does not necessarily translate great literature effectively. We may have to get used to there being no good movies of our favorite novels—to the book always being better, if our favorites are high art. But great art on film — better than its source material — can indeed be made out of books of a more middling sort.


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