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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

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SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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