Further Arrests of Underground Clergy in China
Four underground Roman Catholic priests were recently arrested in China, according to a Cardinal Kung Foundation July 28 Press Release. All four priests were from Hebei, and had refused to register with the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which does not recognize the Pope as the leader of the universal Roman Catholic Church.
According to the Cardinal Kung Foundation, three priests were arrested in the Ximeng region of Inner Mongolia: Father Liang Aijun of Chong Li county, Father Wang Zhong of Gu Yuan county, and Father Gao Jinbao of Shang Yi county. Initially, they were locked up in an iron cage, were not allowed to talk to anyone, and were not given the water brought to the jail for them. They have since been transferred to an undisclosed location.
A fourth priest, Father Cui Tai of Shuangshu Village, Zhuolu County, was involved in a car accident in early July. After the accident, he was transferred to the Public Security and Religious Bureau to await a more permanent location. He is now detained in a cell in the Zhuolu County detention center. Father Cui belongs to the diocese of Xuanhua, Hebei.
Joseph Kung, the President of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said, “Let us not forget that there are, as far as we know, still five bishops in jail. Many other bishops are under house arrest and constant surveillance, and approximately 15 priests and an unknown number of Catholic lay persons are also in jail.”
Joseph Kung urges the Chinese government to immediately stop all persecution throughout China and to release all Roman Catholic bishops and other clergy.
According to the Cardinal Kung Foundation, currently, every one of the approximately 45 bishops of the underground Roman Catholic Church is either in jail, under house arrest, under strict surveillance, or in hiding. The Chinese Government does not recognize the underground Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, the China Aid Association (a Christian rights organization based in America) reported that four Chinese house church leaders from Wuda District of Wuhai City, Inner Mongolia are currently being held by the police. On July 14, four policemen from Wuda District and Qiaoxi local police station, went to pastor Fu Pengtu's house and arrested his wife Gao Chunxia and three missionaries: Xie Yanan and Chen Binghui from Pingding Shan, and Liu Yukang from Wuda.