Having been kept for eight days in custody in Shijiazhuang, Julius Jia Zhiguo, an undergound Chinese bishop, was finally released on 13 April of 2004, when Easter has already passed.
Actually, cases of underground leaders' arrests are not rare in china as the government has set laws restricting unregistered groups to hold church activities. Up to now, there has not been any recognized authority to give any open and official report explaining why they have to arrest Mr. Jia. But what the general public is more concerned is the timing of the arrest.
According to the report of AsiaNews, some new sources said,“The timing and release of the bishop does not surprise us at all. We had already imagined that he would be released (just after Easter). We don’t understand why the government insists every year on repeating the same useless act, arresting our bishop before every important liturgical celebration. Such forceful attempts by the government don’t change our faith and our joy in the Lord’s Resurrection,?they said.
According to his experience, Bishop Jia Zhiguo is regularly taken in by police one week a month. In years past he was always arrested right before Easter. In 2002 he was arrested in March, a few days before Holy Week.