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» 01/10/2005
CHINA – VATICAN
Bishop Jia Zhiguo released, seminarians avoid arrest
The underground seminary is constantly on the move to avoid police detection. This is religious freedom Chinese-style.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Chinese authorities released Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo.  However, the police tried to raid an underground seminary in Baoding but seminarians were warned in time and able to get away scot-free, sources told AsiaNews.

According to the Kung Foundation, the police had arrested the 69-year-old clandestine prelate on January 5 in a church in Wu Qiu (Hebei) only to release him on the 8..

Local Catholics told AsiaNews that he was arrested to prevent him from celebrating Epiphany with his faithful.

"It's always the same story," they said. "We are used to it by now. Just before an important feast—Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, the Assumption—the Bishop is taken into custody and disappears for a few days. This is religious freedom Chinese-style for you."

The Chinese government guarantees freedom of worship but only for some religions in places and by clergy registered with Religious Affairs Office. For Catholics, this means being subject to the Patriotic Association whose goal is to set up a Catholic Church separate from Rome.

In Hebei, the province with the largest concentration of Catholics, many refuse to submit to government's control and prefer to meet in private homes.

Before Christmas, the police threatened to detain anyone who celebrated the holiday outside established structures.

The underground seminary in Baoding, with its dozens of theology students, was shut down in 1996 after a police raid led to the arrest of its rector and the detention of Bishop Francis An Shuxin. At that time, students were sent home.

Since then the seminary has been moving from place to place to avoid further arrests. However, Bishop An Shuxin is still detained but no one knows where.


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See also
11/23/2005 CHINA
Two unofficial priests freed, but not Bishop Jia Zhiguo
03/31/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
Police arrest underground Zhengding bishop Jia Zhiguo
by Bernardo Cervellera
12/09/2004 VATICAN
Genuine integration for immigrants and refugees, says Pope
06/08/2005 CHINA – VATICAN
Persecution in Hebei, a liability for Hu Jintao's plans
by Wang Hui
12/16/2004 CHINA
No more tickets to pay for midnight mass

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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