Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Two underground priests from Wenzhou soon to be freed

ICC Note: After spending almost a year in prison the underground priests are finally being released

5/17/07 China For full story….(AsiaNews) – The release of two underground priests from the diocese of Wenzhou , arrested August last on their return from a pilgrimage to Rome , has been confirmed for this summer.

As previously reported by AsiaNews in April, Fr. Shao Zhoumin, vicar general of the diocese of Wenzhou (in the eastern Zhejiang province) and Fr. Jiang Sunian, chancellor of the same diocese, were sentenced to 9 and 11 months respectively for having falsified their passports.

Given that they had already served the majority of their sentence before its pronouncement, Fr Shao will be released from prison in June, while Fr Jiang will be freed at the end of August. Underground Catholics from Wenzhou are aware of the charges but so far no one has been able to visit the two priests.

Both Fr. Shao and Fr. Jiang have already been submitted to imprisonment, the first internment dating back to 1999. Fr Shao was released after he was urgently hospitalized for an illness contracted during his prison stay. In November of the same year Fr Jiang was stopped for having illegally published over 120 hymn booklets and subsequently formally arrested on December 23rd.

His sentence amounted to 6 years imprisonment and 270 thousand Yuan, but he was released on Christmas day 2003.

Bishop of the diocese of Wenzhou , msgr. James Lin Xili, was also arrested in September 1999 and is to this day confined to the Official Cathedral and denied freedom of movement. He is currently suffering ill health.