Beijing relentless in its pursuit of the underground Catholic Church

Source: FSSPX News


Fr. Zhao Kexun, aged 75, a priest of the underground church of Xuanhua, in the Province of Hebei, in Northern China, was freed on June 1st, after having been arrested on March 30 as he was coming back after having celebrated Mass in a private home in Shatifang. The new laws on religious liberty, adopted on March 1st last, consider as outlaws and pursue as criminals or conspirators against public order, the priests and faithful who go to Mass in a private home or outside of the State control.

For the last ten years or so, Beijing has launched a veritable campaign to eradicate underground religious communities of any denomination, and more particularly the clandestine Catholic groups connected with the Vatican, which is considered as a "foreign power.”

Today the Catholic agency Asia News puts forward the figures of 18 bishops and 20 priests under arrest, kept in isolation or unable to exercise their ministry. In China there is a real religious aspiration: annual conversions to Catholicism – at least 150,000 per year – in the underground Church or the Patriotic (official) Church, seriously worry the government.