A USA Today editorial yesterday took an unusually strong stand against China for a liberal paper. The editorial called Chinese leaders "loathsome" for their continuing persecution of Christians, most recently Gong Ghengliang, a Christian leader sentenced to death for the so-called "unlicensed practice of Christianity." Sixteen other believers received prison terms between two years and life for sharing their faith.
The Bush administration last year ended the annual battle between trade and human rights, but China should not be allowed to get away with its increased persecution of Christians and other religious believers. China has signed international agreements, promising to protect religious freedom, but it has ignored all of them.
The State Department reports that Chinese officials are destroying churches, demanding kickbacks to avoid prosecution and harassing so-called licensed churches. As USA Today says, "the sad trend comes as China is getting more and more of what it wants." Something should be done.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.