Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. - On April 26, a press release was issued by our Foundation concerning the arrest of over 30 Roman Catholics in Jiangxi province during this holy Easter season. We now report the arrest on April 17 of a Roman Catholi c priest in Hebei province.
Rev. CHI HUITIAN, a Roman Catholic priest loyal to the Pope, was arrested on April 17 by the security bureau of Shuang Jing Cun of Ning Jin Xian in the province of Hebei.
Rev. Chi was scheduled to celebrate the Easter Mass for a congregation of 600 Roman Catholics in an open field near his home.
Prior to Rev. Chi's arrest, the Chinese security bureau issued the following orders:
1) The Holy Mass as scheduled by Rev. Chi must be cancelled.
2) The congregation must attend the Easter Mass held in the Communist Government sanctioned Patriotic Association Church.
3) Rev. Chi is to abide by the instruction of the Patriotic Association's bishop of the Diocese of Zhao Xian.
4) Rev. Chi is to transfer his congregation to the Patriotic Association.
Rev. Chi and the congregation refused the above order.
The security bureau threatened to levy fines to those attending the Roman Catholic Mass with Rev. Chi. In addition, Rev. Chi's house would be sealed and the sacred altar items confiscated if he and the congregation did not obey.
Undeterred, the Easter Mass was offered by this faithful priest Rev. Chi and attended by his faithful flock as scheduled. He was taken away by the security bureau on the next day April 17th. Sadly, his whereabouts currently remain unknown.
This arrest is one more example of the blatant violation of human rights by the Chinese government.