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» 01/05/2006
CHINA - VATICAN
Mgr Han Dingxian, underground bishop of Hebei, is missing

This means there are now three "desaparecidos" bishops. And the eldest priest of Yongnian diocese was arrested in December.



Rome (AsiaNews) – Mgr Han Dingxian, unofficial bishop of Yongnian (Hebei), has disappeared. In 1999 he was arrested and kept in isolation in a government-owned hostel. He was not allowed to have any contact at all with his community or his relatives, but every so often some of them could catch a glimpse of him from the window. Now they have had no news of him for some time, nor have they been able to see him through the window panes.

Mgr Han Dingxian, 66 years, is one of the bishops about whom AsiaNews launched an awareness campaign last March. In the past, he spent more than 20 years in prison.

Mgr Han's disappearance brings the number of missing bishops up to three, all from Hebei: Mgr James Su Zhimin, 72 years, Ordinary of the Diocese of Baoding, who disappeared in 1996; Mgr Francis An Shuxin, 54 years, auxiliary of Baoding, arrested in 1997 and missing since.

Despite pressure exerted by religious personalities and international politics, the Chinese government has never given any clue as to their plight.

The news of the bishop's disappearance was disseminated today by the Kung Foundation, which also reported more news: Fr Wang Wenzhi, 50 years, from the diocese of Mgr Han Dingxian, was arrested on 11 December in Fengfeng, near Handan (Hebei). Sources of AsiaNews have confirmed that he is being kept in isolation in a hotel and he is being subjected to brainwashing and political sessions to convince him to join the Patriotic Association.

Fr Wang is the oldest priest in Yongnian diocese, which has 30 priests in all. For several months now, to put a stop to possible rapprochement between Beijing and the Vatican, the Patriotic Association has launched a violent campaign to subjugate bishops, priests and the faithful and to force them to join the organization, often resorting to the threat of armed force.


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See also
11/29/2005 CHINA
Six underground priests arrested in Hebei
10/19/2005 CHINA – VATICAN
A new Chinese bishop consecrated with Vatican approval
09/30/2005 China - Vatican
China's 4 bishops will not attend Synod
09/27/2005 CHINA - VATICAN
A new wave of persecution against Hebei Catholics
by Xing Guofang
02/15/2007 CHINA
Hunt for priests in Xiwanzi diocese

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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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