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from UCA News


China Security Officials Use Mother of 'Underground' Priests as 'Bait' to Arrest Him

UCA News, May 7, 2003


Copyright ©2003 by UCAN. Reprinted with permission.



HONG KONG (UCAN) - Public security officers in eastern China have used the mother of an "underground" priest to draw him out and arrest him.

A Church source in Hong Kong told UCA News May 6 that officers were waiting nearby to arrest Father Lin Daoming of Fuzhou diocese when he returned home to see his mother May 3 after she was released from detention.

Father Lin's mother, a cook at an seminary in Changle city not affiliated with government-approved Church bodies, was arrested along with eight seminarians April 12 during a crackdown on the seminary, the source said. Changle is near Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, 1,630 kilometers southeast from Beijing.

The public security officials found out about the seminary's location when they arrested Father Zheng Ruiping and 10 other seminarians on a picnic in Jiangtian town of Changle earlier the day of the raid. The source said Father Lin's mother and the 18 seminarians were "sentenced" to a month's detention, while Father Zheng is still being detained with no further punishment yet specified.

However, the public security officials discharged Father Lin's mother on May 3, about 10 days before her expected release.

"The officials served her as bait so that when Father Lin hurried home to see his mother at Songxia Qianlin village of Jiangtian town, they were already waiting nearby to catch him," said the source, who added that Father Lin is now being detained.

The source said the officials also took away Father Lin's father and younger brother for investigation, but released them the same evening.