Chinese Bishop Released Unharmed

( [email protected] ) Apr 15, 2004 09:43 AM EDT

After ten days of detainment, the Catholic Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo was released without harm from China. Zhiguo’s detention, which lasted through the Easter holidays, followed the arrest of another Chinese bishop in March. Jia, 69, has been imprisoned for 20 years since he was ordained . The Vatican protested both the arrests, and thousands of Chinese prayed for the bishops following the unwarranted arrests.

While the news of his release spread among the members of the Catholic community in the northern city of Zhengding, no one has reportedly seen him to date, according to AsiaNews.

China broke ties with the Vatican shortly after the 1949 communist takeover and relations between them remain strained. China says it has about 4 million Catholics, but monitoring groups say the real figure may be double that.