Acting together, the Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security and the United Front carried out the operation. Seized before Easter, the bishop of Wenzhou is back home. Bishop Guo Xijin of Mindong is still in police custody. The confrontation with the Vatican increases.
Beijing (AsiaNews/UCAN) – Heilongjiang’s Communist authorities congratulated themselves for "blocking illegal religious activities".
When police raided a small community hall during Mass, they ransacked the place and tried to arrest the parish priest and the community’s lay leader.
The action was taped and the video was briefly posted on-line (pictured). In it, several police agents can be seen discussing animatedly with worshippers and trying to remove Fr Shen Yanjun, an underground priest who took up his post in the church in Qinshan (Wudalianchi) seven months ago.
In a statement, local authorities said they "successfully stopped an underground Catholic priest from holding an illegal religious activity."
The police raid was a joint operation between the Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security and the United Front.
Since they are opposed to a dialogue between the Chinese government and the Holy See, the Religious Affairs Ministry and the United Front (which includes the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association) continue to clash with the Church and the Vatican.
Before Easter they seized two underground bishops – Mgr Vincent Guo Xijin of Mindong and Mgr Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou – to prevent them from celebrating Easter services in their respective diocese.
Both are recognised by the Holy See but not by the government. Sources told AsiaNews that Mgr Shao is now back home whilst Mgr Guo’s whereabouts remain unknown.