CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 October 2018

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Priest goes missing in Zhejiang

HONG KONG (UCAN): Father Lu Danhua from the diocese of Lishui in eastern Zhejiang province has been missing since government officials from State Administration for Religious Affairs took him away from a priests’ dormitory on December 29.
 
A witness to the incident said that the officials claimed Father Lu was only going for a brief chat.
 
He is the only priest of Lishui and was ordained by for the diocese by Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from the unofficial Church in Wenzhou, on 14 December 2016. 
 
Prior to that, Lishui was administered from Wenzhou after the 35-year tenure of Father Kenneth Roderick Turner, of Scarboro Foreign Mission Society, who worked there from 1948 to 1983.
 
Bishop Shao was released by authorities on January 3 after being detained since May 2017 (Sunday Examiner, January 14). A source who requested anonymity said that the reason for Father Lu’s detention were unrelated to Bishop Shao.
 
However, he said authorities had stated that he needed to go to Wenzhou for re-education on the new religious regulations coming into effect on February 1 and that he would return after obtaining a permit to be a priest.
 
Officials told people who approached the religious affairs office on December 30 that Father Lu had already been released. But he remains missing and calls to his mobile phone have not been answered.

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