Friday, November 18, 2005

Report #4 on the Fall of Communism

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China: more underground clerics arrested

Beijing, Nov. 18 ( - Chinese authorities have arrested another priest of the underground Catholic Church, along with 10 seminarians.

The arrests, which took place on November 12, were brought to light by the US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation.

Father Yang Jianwei and 10 seminaries were taken into custody in Xushui City in the Hebei province. Hebei, which has a large Catholic population, is the same province where Bishop Jia Zhiguo and two other priests were arrested earlier in November.

Six of the seminarians arrested on November 12 were released after three days of questioning, the Cardinal Kung Foundation said. The other four, along with Father Yang, are still in custody. No explanation has been given for the arrests.

The AsiaNews service observes that the arrests in Hebei come just before a visit to China by US President George W. Bush. (Bush will be in the country November 19- 21.) The Beijing government has established a pattern of arresting religious leaders and political dissidents just prior to any major event that could provide an international forum for petitions and protests.


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