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    » 07/06/2010, 00.00

    CHINA

    Priest and nun of underground diocese of Ningxia are killed

    Zhen Yuan

    The two religious worked in a nursing home in the district of Wuda in Wuhai, a main city of Inner Mongolia. The hospice staff found their bodies around 6.30 this morning in a pool of blood. Reasons for murder and identity of assassin remain unknown.

    Wuhai (AsiaNews) - Fr Joseph Shulai Zhang (pictured), vicar general of the underground diocese of Ningxia (Inner Mongolia) and Sr. Mary Wei Yanhui were stabbed and killed last night in the district of Wuda, Wuhai, Inner Mongolia. The two religious worked in a hospice for the elderly wich is housed in the residence of the local church.

    Local sources said this morning, the hospice staff, not seeing them appear at daily mass of 6.30, went to their rooms, finding the bodies of Father Joseph and Sr. Mary in a pool of blood, apparently stabbed to death. The murder was reported around 7 to the police, who cordoned off the area around the church complex and tapped telephone calls. Currently the motives behind the murder and identity of the assassin remain unknown.

    Local Catholics tell AsiaNews that the body of Father Zhang has 7 deep knife wounds and signs of struggle. Sister Wei was instead killed by a stab wound to the chest.

    Sister Wei, a native of Inner Mongolia, was the director of the nursing home that houses about 60 elderly people. The 32 year old nun professed her vows in 2001. She lived in rooms above the hospice.  Father Zhang, 55, was originally from the diocese of Xianxian (Hebei) and has been a priest since 1985. He began his service in Inner Mongolia about 20 years ago. His room was on the ground floor of the building.

    The underground Church in Wuda is led by Mgr. Joseph Ma Zhongmu of Ningxia. He is the only ethnic Mongolian prelate in China and livesin the town of Chengchuan, Inner Mongolia. The official Church of Wuhai is instead under the diocese of Bameng, Inner Mongolia.

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    See also

    12/07/2010 CHINA
    Ningxia Catholics : Death of priest and nun leads us to unity and reconciliation
    The priest who presided at the funeral calls on Catholics to forgive the murderer and pray for him. The official bishop of Bameng does not participate in the funeral, but brings a floral tribute and offers condolences to the underground community. The church and hospice where the two victims worked in danger of being demolished.

    12/04/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Priests and bishop of Bameng forced to concelebrate with excommunicated bishop
    More details emerge on the installation ceremony of Bishop. Du, under pressure from the religious authorities and the Patriotic Association. The ceremony on 8 April was all under government control. Fears of priests for possible difficulties for faithful and the underground community.

    09/07/2010 CHINA
    Ningxia, priest and nun murdered by former seminarian
    Wenping Zhang, 43, was arrested yesterday afternoon in Hohhot. He had been fired and promised to kill Fr Joseph Zhang. Victim’s funerals will be held on 11 July.

    06/07/2005 CHINA
    Underground Protestant clergyman on trial
    His trial is set to start tomorrow. The clergyman is accused of "illegal business practices" because he kept Bibles in a cache with the intention of giving them free to the faithful.

    15/06/2004 china
    An ancient church becomes home to two Protestant communities.




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