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Press Release - April 22, 2001

Contact: Joseph Kung
PO Box 8086, Stamford, CT 06905, U.S.A
Tel: 203-329-9712 Fax: 203-329-8415 E-Mail: jmkung@aol.com

Arrests of Roman Catholic Bishop, Priests, and Lay Persons in China

Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. - In Fujian (福建省), Hebei (河北省), Jiangxi (江西省) and inner Mongolia (內蒙古), the Chinese government arrested one underground Roman Catholic bishop, many priests and lay Catholics.

  1. Bishop SHI Enxiang (師恩祥), the underground Roman Catholic bishop of Yixian (易縣), Hebei (河北), was arrested while visiting in Beijing (北京) on Good Friday, April 13. We do not know where he is detained. Other details of his arrest are unknown. Bishop SHI is 79 years old and was ordained a bishop in 1982. He was previously in jail for about 30 years. He was last arrested in December 1990 for three years and released in November 1993. The authority tried to arrest him in 1996, but failed, as Bishop SHI escaped. He was in hiding ever since until his arrest nine days ago on April 13.
  2. Father LI Jianbo (李建波) of Manchang County (滿城縣), Hebei, an underground Roman Catholic priest, was arrested on April 19 in the City of Xilinhaute (錫林浩特市), inner Mongolia (內蒙古) . He is 34 years old.
  3. Father LU Genjun 鹿根君 (also known as LU Genyou 鹿根友), 39 years old, an underground Roman Catholic priest, was arrested shortly before Easter in Baoding (保定), Hebei. Father LU was immediately sentenced to three years and is now detained in the Gao Yang County (高陽縣) labor camp in Hebei. No other information is available. Father LU was last arrested three years ago on Palm Sunday, April 5, 1998 and detained for a short time.
    Arrested with Father LU were three other underground Roman Catholic priests. Their names are not known. No other details.
  4. Father Yin 尹 (Full name not known), an underground Roman Catholic priest, was arrested in Qingyuan County (清苑縣), Hebei in January, 2001. He was sentenced in April to labor camp for three years. Other details are unknown.
  5. Father Feng Yunxiang (馮雲祥), an underground R C priest, was arrested on Good Friday, April 13 in Fu An City (褔安市), Fujian. No other details.
  6. Father Liao Haiqing (廖海清), an underground R C priest in his early seventies, was arrested on Good Friday April 13 in Fuzhou (撫州市), Jiangxi (江西省). He has now been released. Thirteen other underground Roman Catholic lay persons were also arrested on Good Friday, April 13 in Linchuan (臨川市), Jianxi, and are still detained. Their names are not known.

Joseph Kung, the president of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said: "Obviously, there is severe ongoing persecution of Roman Catholics in China. A Holy Mass, a prayer service, and even praying over the dying by Roman Catholics are all considered illegal and subversive activities by the Chinese government. While the Christians around the world were observing the holiest week of the year, the underground Roman Catholic Church in China suffered another assault from the Chinese government. While visiting the government-established Patriotic Association churches in China, many foreign visitors are, unintentionally as it may be, giving an appearance of condoning the Chinese government's religious policy of severely persecuting the 12 million underground Roman Catholics in China. Many bishops, priests, and lay persons of the Roman Catholic Church are currently in jail, or under house arrests, or in hiding. These incidents, along with Beijing's recent behavior toward the American crew and its plane that made an emergency landing in China, should awaken the United States and its allies of China's flagrantly abusive policies toward other nations as well as its own people."