Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. - Further to our press release on March 23, 1997 reporting the ransacking of the home and the seizure of the religious articles and cash of Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang, S.J., the underground Roman Catholic Coadjutor Bishop of Shanghai, the home of one other underground Roman Catholic priest in Shanghai met with the same fate.
During the evening of March 29, the Shanghai Security Bureau police ransacked the home of underground Roman Catholic Father Zen Caijun, S.J. As before, a large amount of religious articles and cash were taken away. In addition, VCR, telephone, religious videos and other electrical goods were seized. No reason was given and no receipt was issued. The raid consisting of six policemen started in late evening of March 29 until early morning of March 30 lasting about 5 hours.
"Ransacking two homes of underground Roman Catholic priests before Easter could not be a random act of some lower level official of the Shanghai Security Bureau", said Joseph Kung, the President of Cardinal Kung Foundation. "It has to be a carefully planned strategy of the Chinese Government to eradicate the underground Roman Catholic Church in accordance with the internal Communist document released by the Cardinal Kung Foundation in January of this year. There are about 965 million Roman Catholic worldwide. Refusing to legalize and continuing to persecute this universally recognized religion is clear evidence that there is no freedom of religion in China as guaranteed by its own constitution. While billions of Christian celebrated the Holy week, there was no Easter Mass for underground Roman Catholics in most parts of China. Moreover, the fact that the raid was carried out while the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Government Mr. Newt Gingrich was discussing the human rights in Shanghai and few hours before he was to participate in an Easter service in a Communist sponsored Patriotic Association Church was yet another snub by the Chinese Government to the United States Government."
Cardinal Kung Foundation is an advocate of the underground Roman Catholic Church in China to which the Pope referred in his speech on December 3, 1996 as "a precious jewel of the Catholic Church". The Patriotic Association was established by the Chinese Government in 1957 in order to control all the religions. The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which the Pope undoubtedly referred to in the same speech on December 3, 1996 as "a church which does not respond either to the will of the Lord Jesus, nor to the Catholic faith."