Chinese Bishop, Priest and 90 Catholics Arrested
Community Raided at Night
XIWANZI, China, AUG. 16, 2006 (www.Zenit.org). - A bishop, a priest and some 90 Catholic faithful of the underground Church have been arrested in China, says a U.S.-based watchdog group.
Bishop Yao Liang, 82, the underground Catholic auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Xiwanzi, in Hebei Province, was arrested by Chinese authorities July 30, according to the Cardinal Kung Foundation.
AsiaNews reported that the Religious Affairs Bureau invited the prelate to Zhangjiakou to "discuss the restitution of some properties belonging to the Church" at which time he was detained. He is now being held in Zhangjiakou City.
Father Li Huisheng, 33, an underground priest in the Diocese of Xiwanzi, was arrested Aug. 1.
According to AsiaNews, Father Li was tortured and then released at night.
As a result of this violence, reports AsiaNews, more than 90 faithful demonstrated in front of the police station. They were charged by police, beaten and forced to disperse.
The public security bureau then mobilized some 500 police between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., Aug. 2, and attacked the Catholic community in Zhangjiakou, Zhangbei County, arresting some 90 underground Catholic faithful.
They again arrested Father Li, who had returned to his church, and 90 other people.
During the raid, two males were injured and required emergency hospital care, and one woman had a miscarriage.
According to AsiaNews, a pilgrimage to Mount Muozi in Inner Mongolia was behind the police operation. For more than a century the diocese had organized the event, but this year the Religious Affairs Bureau and the police banned it.
The Cardinal Kung Foundation reported that about 70 of those arrested have now been released