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Priests removed for running summer camp

GANSU (UCAN): Father Wang Yiqin of Hui county and Father Li Shidong Two from the unofficial Church in China’s Gansu province were removed after being accused of holding a summer camp for a Bosco Youth Group at the Maijiqu Ganquan Catholic Church in Tianshui Diocese of Leling city of Shandong province. The priests were sent back to their hometowns.
The church is one of only two venues used by the unofficial community in the Diocese of Tianshui.
On July 21, the Tianshui Municipal Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee issued a letter stating that no association personnel were involved with the church, which had become a base for unofficial clergy. It asked the CCPA to appoint personnel “to strengthen the management of religious affairs in accordance with the law and according to the regulations on religious affairs.”
Father Zhao Jianzhang of Tianshui’s official Church community and deputy director and secretary-general of the Gansu Catholic Patriotic Association and Catholic Administration Commission said that he had been informed of the incident and the parish office had received a letter but he was out of town and would handle the incident when he returned.
“There are people in the government who want to break the current situation. They do not allow the unofficial Church to exist and must convert it … because only Tianshui in northwest China still has an unofficial community,” a source said.
Built in 1921, Maijiqu Ganquan Catholic Church grounds cover 7,000 square metres including the church, complex buildings and houses. The church is approved by the Yuanbeidao district government.

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