Relaymedia

Priest Arrested in China Dispelled Hopes for Religious Freedom

The Cardinal Kung Foundation reported that over the weekend an underground Catholic Church in Fujian, while celebrating Mass, was raided by the Chinese police. A priest was arrested while members of
( [email protected] ) Aug 01, 2005 04:15 PM EDT

The Cardinal Kung Foundation reported that over the weekend an underground Catholic Church in Fujian, while celebrating Mass, was raided by the Chinese police. A priest was arrested while members of his congregation were beaten.

Father Lin Daixian along with a seminarian and 9 parishioners were arrested and taken to a local prison when the police raided the house church while they were celebrating. Several parishioners were injured during the raid. Father Lin is the priest of Fuzhou diocese; this is his fourth arrest since his ordination in 1995.

The president of Cardinal Kung Foundation Joseph Kung saw the arrest as lack of sincerity from the Chinese government toward opening doors to religious freedom in China. ¡§The Chinese government has repeatedly declared to the world that there is religious freedom in China," said Kung. "Yet this kind of arrest of innocent religious believers keeps taking place."

While the Chinese government seemed to be taking a step forth with new auxiliary bishops installed recently in Shanghai and Xi¡¦an approved by both Vatican and Beijing, the arrest of the priest had only dispelled what hopes for the government to allow greater religious freedom.