Police Detain Eight Priests from Underground Catholic Church

August 17, 2004

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP


On August 17, 2004 the Associated Press reported, "Police in northern China detained eight priests from the underground Catholic Church in a raid on a religious retreat, a U.S.-based religious monitoring group reported. Priests Huo Junlong, Zhang Zhenqian and another identified simply as Father Huang were among those held following the Aug. 6 raid on the village of Sujiazhuang in Hebei province, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reported. The names of the other five priests weren't immediately known, said the group, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut. It said two seminary students were also detained in the raid... China broke ties with the Vatican in 1951 and demands that Catholics worship only in churches approved by the state-controlled church group that does not recognize the pope's authority. Many Chinese Catholics, however, remain loyal to Rome and risk arrest by worshipping in unofficial churches and private homes. The state church claims 4 million believers, but the Cardinal Kung Foundation said the unofficial church has 12 million followers."