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Press Release - February 11, 2003

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

One More Underground Roman Catholic Priest Is Arrested In China

Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. - Rev. Dong Yingmu, 37, an underground Roman Catholic priest serving the diocese of Baoding, Hebei, was kidnapped by the Chinese authority during Christmas 2002 when he was walking on his way to offer a Holy Mass. He was first detained in Qingyuan county detention house for about a month, and was subsequently sent to a prison in Quyang county.

Two bishops and eight other priests belonging to the underground Catholic diocese of Baoding are now in various prisons and labor camps.

  1. Bishop SU Zhimin, 70, Bishop of Baoding, was arrested on October 8, 1997. He has disappeared. His whereabouts are unknown. We are not even sure if he is alive or dead.
  2. Bishop AN Shuxin, 53, the auxiliary Bishop of Baoding, was arrested in March 1996. He has also disappeared. His whereabouts are also unknown. We are also not sure if he is alive or dead.
  3. Interned in Ba Li Zhuang labor camp in Baoding are Father MA Shunbao, 50, Father Wang Limao, 32, Father YIN Zhengjun 32, and Father Pang Yongxing, 30. All of them have been sentenced to three years in the labor camp.
  4. Interned in Gao Yang County labor camp are Father LU Genjun, 40, and Father LI Jianbo, 27. They have all been sentenced to three years in the labor camp. Father LI Jianbo is extremely sick.
  5. Detained in Xu Shui County detention house are Father Wang Zhenhe, 30, and Father Zhang Chunguang, 32. Father Wang Zhenhe has been detained for three years. Father Zhang Chunguang has been detained for two years. Neither has been sentenced.

Joseph Kung, the president of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said: "Having incarcerated two bishops and nine priests of the underground Catholic Diocese of Baoding, the Chinese government has caused great damage to this diocese, but it failed to break its spirit. Nevertheless, this example of persecution in Baoding does send shivers down the spine. Moreover, this is the plight of only one diocese. The public should be aware that most underground Catholic dioceses in Hebei as well as other dioceses elsewhere, such as Yu Jiang in Jiangxi, Fuzhou in Fujian and others, suffer similar attacks from the Chinese government. This awareness should enable the public to visualize how severe religious persecution in China actually is."