Thursday, November 10, 2005

Report #2 on the Fall of Communism

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From Catholic World News

China arrests underground bishop again

Beijing, Nov. 10 ( - A Catholic bishop of China's "underground" Church was arrested on November 8; it was his 8th arrest in the past 2 years.

Bishop Jia Zhiguo of the Zhengding diocese, the Hebei province, was taken from his home on Tuesday evening. Police instructed him to bring clothing and personal items, and said he was to attend a "study session," the Cardinal Kung Foundation reports.

Two other priests of the Zhengding diocese, Fathers Li Suchuan and Yang Ermeng, had been arrested the previous day. Authorities have not indicated how long the three clerics will be in custody, or where they are being held.

Bishop Jia, who is 70 years old, has spent about 20 years in prison. In recent months he has been under constant surveillance, and repeatedly arrested and held for a few days at a time, as government officials seek to persuade him to join the state-sponsored Catholic Patriotic Association.

The bishop, who cares for about 100 handicapped orphans in his own home, is a revered figure within the underground Church, particularly in the Hebei province, where Catholics are numerous and conflicts with government officials are frequent.

Joseph Kung of the Cardinal Kung Foundation observed that the bishop's arrest is a "wake-up call" demonstrating that the Beijing government is continuing its assault on religious freedom. He urged international leaders to put pressure on China to allow religious liberty, and challenged leaders of China's "official" Church to speak out against the assaults on underground Catholics.


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