Underground Christians had predicted a crackdown after the games, when the media had turned its eyes away, and events seem to be proving them correct…
According to Catholic World News, an ageing bishop of the one true Church was arbitrarily arrested in the People’s Republic of China on the same day the Beijing Olympics closed. The Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, 73 years old and the most prominent leader of the underground Church, was detained at Wuqiu Cathedral by police officers who refused to explain the reason for the arrest. His likely “offense” may have been that he celebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Mass on the Feast of the Assumption (as reported here on AsiaNews), in defiance of government orders against public worship during the Olympics.
Underground Christians had predicted a crackdown after the games, when the media had turned its eyes away, and events seem to be proving them correct. This would be but the latest episode of Chinese government persecution of the underground Church, which has refused to join the State-controlled hierarchy–created, like Anglican Protestantism, to accentuate State power. Just last year, the Bishop Han Dinxiang died (or was martyred) in police custody, with the government disavowing any knowledge of him according to the Los Angeles Times; and the Bishop Jia himself was previously imprisoned for 15 years and has been arrested 12 times.
For more details on the Bishop Jia’s arrest, please see the article of CWN here and the statement of the Cardinal Kung Foundation here. Please also see the reports of the Cardinal Kung Foundation here, the listing of which may also serve as a chronology of the persecution of the Church in mainland China. Oremus:
Father, grant Your faithful in China respite from suffering, that they may in freedom worship in Spirit and truth. Till then, however, grant them the strength to remain faithful to Your Son and His commandments. By Your grace, let their witness lead to the conversion of their oppressors, the salvation of the world, and always, Your greater and everlasting glory, with Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.
Holy God, holy mighty One… (for Eastern Christians). Glory be to the Father… (for Latin Christians).