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    2024 Contest Rules

    This Spring of 2024, The Catholic University of America’s Center for Human Rights is hosting its second-ever Human Rights Essay Contest. This year's prompt is:

    "Choose a human rights issue in China that you believe needs moreattention. What current initiatives are working to address it, and whatcan Americans do to support Chinese people who are affected by it? (1000 words)"

    Essays are due by April 25, 2024. Students of all ages (high school and up) are invited to submit essays to deatherage@cua.edu. Prizes Include:

    Signed copy of The Barefoot Lawyer
    Appearance on The Barefoot Lawyer Reports podcast
    Publication on Center for Human Rights website
    $1,000 Cash Prize

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    2023 First Place Essay: The Antidote against the CCP Virus

    By Jose Nunes

    "In his autobiography, Treasure in Clay, Archbishop Fulton Sheen describes the captivating faith of a Chinese girl around the time of the Maiost Revolution in 1949. After a priest started saying Mass, Communists soldiers stormed into his church, grabbed and put him under house arrest in an adjoining room. They also opened the tabernacle, threw the consecrated Hosts on the floor, and robbed the Sacred Vessels. As the priest began to pray in atonement for these sacrilegious acts, he witnessed the courage of a girl who would sneak into the church every day at 3 am to take communion by pressing her tongue against the Holy Host laying on the floor. She would continue to do so for about 30 days taking one Host a day. Finally, when there was only one left, she went to the church as usual and took it. Unwillingly, she was seen by a Communist soldier who immediately shot and killed her. This girl came to be called “Little Li”; her story illustrates the evil of communism and provides an inspirational model of how to stand against it." Continue Reading

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    2023 Second Place (Tied) Essay: Revisiting ‘Centesimus Annus’ and American Ideals Amid the CCP’s Human Rights Atrocities

    By Brandon Showalter

    "“She did not know at all that she had swept away the logic of the mind, the logic of history, the logic of politics, the myth of the 20th century, with five annihilating words: one night he heard screams.” – Whittaker Chambers, “Witness” In arguably the most memorable passage of his 1952 book, “Witness,” Soviet spy-turned-Christian Whittaker Chambers documented the visceral screams of communism’s victims that a formerly pro-Soviet German diplomat had heard in Moscow. As the diplomat’s daughter recounted to Chambers, these were the soul-piercing cries that jolted her father out of his ideological stupor." Continue Reading

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    2023 Second Place (Tied) Essay: The Failure of Communist China

    By Peter James

    "Every government system has its strengths, but certain strengths come with certain weaknesses. Communism’s weaknesses outweigh its strengths, and communist China is no exception. Winston Churchill famously noted, “Indeed it has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.1 Perhaps President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party should heed that truth. But the CCP’s whole foundation and power rests on being antithetical to truth." Continue Reading