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Two priests in Hebei detained

Hong Kong (UCAN): Father Su Guipeng and Father Zhao He, of the unofficial Church in the diocese of Xuanhua, China, have been detained by authorities in Hebei province, according to a source.
The source said Father Zhao, who serves in the Dongcheng Catholic Church, was taken away by the personnel of the United Front Work Department of Yangyuan County on October 24.
Seven unidentified people went to the church and said they were taking the priest to talk to local government officials, but he had not returned.
The source said that the Father Zhao had been placed in detention at a hotel and that his mobile phone had been confiscated and he was under constant guard.
He was reportedly asked to study newly revised regulations on religious practice and to recognise the state-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA).
The government officials were said to have warned that the Catholic Church in China was required to be autonomous from the Vatican notwithstanding the provisional Vatican-Beijing agreement signed two months ago.
Father Su Guipeng, who serves in Shadifang parish, was placed under home arrest on October 13 so he could be indoctrinated on government policies.
Meanwhile a source said that in one village of Xuanhua Diocese, families were told that they would be fined and detained for five days if they received priests in their homes.
In addition, the Jingkai District Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs issued a notice on September 25 banning what it described as illegal religious activities.
It was reported that more than a dozen religious venues of the underground Church in the province had been recently seized.

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