Sweatshop Crucifixes Stir Up Unholy Mess for Church

Religious gifts made in appalling conditions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 2:13 AM CST
Sweatshop Crucifixes Stir Up Unholy Mess for Church
This is a crucifix produced at a sweatshop factory in Dongguan City, China, and purchased at the gift shop of the Episcopal Trinity Church in New York. Crosses from the same factory have been distributed to St. Patrick's cathedral.   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Revelations that crucifixes in their gift shops are made in a Chinese sweatshop has shocked officials at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity Episcopal Church, who removed the crosses from stores, reports Newsday. Young workers at the crucifix factory reportedly work 15-hour days in poor conditions for only 26 cents an hour. The $1.40 crosses sell for $17.95 at St. Pat's.

Officials from both churches vowed to investigate. But a spokesman for St. Patrick's also accused the labor advocate who announced information about the crucifixes to reporters outside the cathedral of intentionally embarrassing the church. Cathedral visitors were taken aback by the news. "You'd think a church would be upholding the basic principles of human rights," said one. (Read more sweatshop stories.)

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