24 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/12/2009 16:55
CHINA
Underground bishop of Xiwanzi released after two and a half years in prison
He had been arrested for consacrating a church without the consent of the Patriotic Association. The authorities view him only as a priest, and do not allow him to preside at large-scale activities. Two priests and 20 faithful of the diocese of Xiwanzi are still in prison. In Hebei, two bishops are still "disappeared" after many years.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/UCAN) - Leo Yao Liang, the underground bishop of Xiwanzi, was set free shortly before the Chinese new year. He had been taken away by the police on July 30, 2006. Government officials have nonetheless warned him that he may not perform his office as bishop, or preside at large-scale Church activities.

Bishop Yao, 85, is an unauthorized bishop, not recognized by the government and not a member of the Patriotic Association (PA). In all likelihood, he was arrested because the authorities discovered he consacrated a church in Guiyang county in mid-July 2006 without the consent of the Patriotic Association.The bishop and five of the 20 priests who concelebrated the Mass were detained for violating religious affairs regulations.

While he was in prison, Bishop Yao was kept in various locations, always isolated from everyone else. Now the authorities are permitting him to see people, but he is not allowed to organize large assemblies. In Xiwanzi, the faithful were not even permitted to organize a celebration for his return.

The diocese of Xiwanzi (Hebei) is a diocese of the underground Church, with 15,000 faithful, about 260 kilometers north of Beijing, almost on the border with Inner Mongolia. For months the police, egged on by the PA, have been carrying out a campaign against priests and bishops of the unauthorized Church. According to local sources, there are still 20 faithful and two priests in prison, arrested for organizing demonstrations and sit-ins to free their bishop.

There are still two bishops from the area of Hebei - the region with the highest concentration of Catholics - being held by the police (in an unknown location):

Bishop James Su Zhimin (diocese of Baoding), 75. He was arrested in 1996 and disappeared. In November of 2003, he was seen at a hospital in Baoding, under police supervision, where he was treated for his heart and his eyes. But a few days later, he disappeared again.

Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang (diocese of Yixian), 86. Arrested on April 13, 2001. Bishop Shi, ordained bishop a 1982, he had been in prison for 30 years before that. He was arrested again in December of 1990, then released in 1993. He lived enforced isolation until his last arrest.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/31/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
Police arrest underground Zhengding bishop Jia Zhiguo
by Bernardo Cervellera
12/20/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, Vatican must break with Taiwan and not interfere in domestic affairs
by Wang Zhicheng
07/02/2005 CHINA
China: a priest of the underground church is released
02/15/2007 CHINA
Hunt for priests in Xiwanzi diocese
09/08/2006 CHINA
"A Church that surprises" in China: Mondo e Missione special

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.