Chinese Catholic Bishop Detained

( [email protected] ) Apr 07, 2004 09:06 AM EDT

BEIJING, China – A 69-year-old Roman Catholic bishop in northern China was arrested in Zhengding city, despite the state constitution that was amended to protect human rights, a US-based rights group reported on April 6.

According to the Connecticut-based Cardinal Kung Foundation, the Bishop Jia Zhiguo was arrested from his home on Tuesday, April 5.

"We do not understand this recent arrest of bishops in China when the Chinese government introduced the terms 'freedom of faith' and 'protection of human rights' into the country's constitution in its recent annual meeting of Chinese parliament," the group said.

Both the Chinese police and the government’s Religious Affairs Bureau in Zhengding refused to specify why the bishop was being detained, and declined to further comment.

Bishop Jia’s arrest follows the brief detention of Bishop Wei Jingyi, the underground Roamn Catholic Bishop of Qigihar city from March 5-14.

"These arrests clearly exemplify that the Chinese government frequently states things in theory, but does not back them up in actual practice. These arrests make the Chinese constitution a mockery,” said the Foundation said.

Underground worshippers, both protestant and catholic have been detained without warrant in China.