CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 August 2019

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Priest detained in Hebei province

HONG KONG (SE): Police are reported to have detained Father Song Wanjun on August 10, a priest of the unofficial Church community in Hebei, China.

It was reported that he was driving a car at 4.00am in Xiwanzi, when a group of police officers from Qiaodong District took him away to an unknown place.

Father Song is 39-years-old and was ordained a priest 11 years ago. 

He had been working in Zhangbei county before being reassigned to Chongli recently.

His arrest was also reported on August 11 by the Cardinal Kung Foundation in the United States of America.

The diocese of Xiwanzi is located in the northern part of Hebei. Priests in the area have been under severe pressure over the past four to five years to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and many have been detained and sent to study sessions.

In recent times, Bishop Yao Ling, who has since died; Father Li Huisheng, who was sentenced to seven years in prison; and Father Wang Zhong, who got three years, have been arrested.

AsiaNews reports that over the past 20 years, at least 20 priests from the unofficial communities in Hebei have been arrested and tortured.

 

Hebei is one of the strongest Catholic areas in China.

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