22 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 04/12/2011, 00.00


    Two underground priests arrested and beaten in Hebei

    Jian Mei

    Fathers Chen and Zhang have been in detention and tortured for months in order to get them to join the official Church. Hebei Catholics know the names and stories of at least 20 other priests who were arrested and tortured in the province because they were faithful to the Catholic Church.
    Beijing (AsiaNews) – Since last January, at least two underground priests (in communion with the Pope), from Xuanhua dioceses (Hebei), near Beijing, have been detained and badly beaten up. They are among at least 20 underground priests in Xuanhua and Xiwanzi dioceses have been tortured and pressured to “register” with the government-sponsored Church associated with the Communist Party-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association over the past two decades, sources, anonymous per request, told AsiaNews.

    On 9 April, Fr Chen Hailong of Xuanhua was taken away by officials in Yanqing Beijing County, and has not yet been released by today, 12 April, the source told AsiaNews.

    Fr Zhang Guangjun, also from Xuanhua diocese, was detained in February, and badly beaten. His family was allowed to take him out on March 29 for medical treatment. He had bruises to the head and the legs, and had been visibly tortured.

    Fr Zhang was tortured for refusing to concelebrate and to register and get the “priest card” as a means of accepting the independent and self-managed Church. “To concelebrate (with patriotic priests) is never possible. As being held, I don’t expect to leave here freely,” he was quoted as saying.

    As early as 13 January, he was brought away from a layperson’s home by officials disguised as technicians who had come to check the gas system. He was taken to a hotel in Zhuolu County, and barred from sleep for five nights.

    After a short release for the Lunar New Year in February, Father Zhang reported to the local united front work office on March 8 but was badly beaten up and tortured.

    According to sources in Zhangjiakou area, since 1990s, more than 20 priests from Xuanhua and Xiwanzi dioceses were detained, beaten, jailed, sent to study sessions in order to get them “registered” and “surfaced”.

     “We are angry at the threats, violence and inhumane means used by the government officials to go against the priests,” sources noted.

    “As the state advocates the building of harmonious society and religious freedom, we, as Catholics in China, hope the government would release all the detained clergy and respect their conscience,” they said.

    In addition, at least eight priests have been taken to undergo study sessions: Tian Yongfeng, Pei Youming, Hu Huibing, Liang Aijun, Wang Yongsheng, Yang Quanyi, Gao Jinbao and Zhang Guilin.

    Below is a list of priests in Zhangjiakou area, who were detained and tortured since 1990s, compiled by Catholics in Hebei:

    1990s: Father Wang Jiansheng and Father Cui Tai detained and jailed for 3 years; Father Zhang Li arrested, sentenced and jailed.

    August 2006: Father Li Huisheng arrested in Zhangbei county, beaten up badly and hospitalized, sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, and still serving sentence.

    Winter 2007: Father Wang Zhong arrested in Guyuan county, and jailed for three years. He has finished serving the sentence but under surveillance.

    September 2007: Father Yu Zhongxun taken away for the second time, tortured. He was tied onto a basketball backboard for one night, stooped for more than 10 days, and burned by cigarettes butts all over his body, and forced to drink “chili waters”.

    July 2008: Father Zhang Jianlin arrested and detained for seven months, tortured and now under surveillance.

    8 June, 2009: Father Liu Jianzhong arrested, prevented to sleep for six days, and stood and physically tortured for 18 hours each day, detained for six months.

    14 June, 2009: Father Zhang Cunhui taken away by officials on his way to say Mass, forced to undergo study sessions for eight months.

    30 May, 2010 (Trinity Sunday): Fr Wang Jiancheng and Li De taken by officials on their way to say Mass. Father Li was released after 2 months’ detention, during which he was disallowed to sleep and physically tortured. Father Wang was released after six months’ detention and now under surveillance.

    February 2011: Father Ren He of Xiwanzi diocese taken and detained when leading a retreat for laypeople at a Catholic’s home.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    06/08/2015 CHINA
    Shandong, four underground priests arrested and denied food and water
    The police is attempting to force them to join the Patriotic Association, which promotes a Church independent of the Pope. National security agents and members of the Religious Affairs Bureau are interrogating them. The underground Church appeals to Christians to pray for them and work for the release of the four men.

    13/11/2009 CHINA
    After 60 years of communism, Church in China faces most critical moment
    Zero growth among Catholics; declining vocations; bishops too young. Meanwhile, Party and government control continues along the same lines of the past 60 years.

    24/02/2006 CHINA
    Two underground priests arrested in Hebei
    The local Patriotic Association is engaged in a ruthless province-wide campaign against underground Catholics. One of those arrested served as episcopal vicar; his whereabouts are still unknown.

    24/03/2010 CHINA – VATICAN
    Another underground priest arrested in Fujian
    He organised a camp for 300 university students. He was charged along with other priests, one of whom was held for 15 days and then released. Two more are waiting for their arrest. Tens of priests are currently detained in prisons or forced labour camps. Three bishops are still in police custody years after they disappeared. The Vatican Commission on the Church in China ends its plenary session today.

    19/11/2008 CHINA
    Nanle Catholics appeal against violence, confiscation by former Association head
    Priest and faithful attacked with clubs and stones. Because of "gang-like" threats, since August 15 there have been no Masses or catechism classes. The former director of the PA has appropriated church property. The faithful are appealing to the slogan of Hu Jintao ("building a harmonious society") to call for justice.

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®