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Catholics are beaten, threatened for demanding the return of Church property

ICC Note:

When a few members of the local Catholic community in Fanzhi, China, decided to demand the return of property seized from them in 1950s, they were brutally attacked. One priest suffered heavy blows to the back, two womens’ arms were broken, and one other received minor injuries as a result of the attack.

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7/11/08 China (AsiaNews) A priest suffered heavy blows to the back; two women had an arm broken; and another faithful received minor injuries, all because the small Catholic community in Fanzhi (Shanxi), 140 kilometres from the provincial capital of Taiyuan, wants its property back. Warned that it might not be able to meet for religious functions anymore, the community at present has no place of worship and wants the authorities to return property seized in the 1950s.

Fanzhi Catholics have called on local and County governments to return the property and put a stop to the ongoing construction, but have not received any reply.

On 2 June a priest and a few members of the community went to the construction site to discuss with those in charge of the project, but were immediately savagely attacked by some men.

Afterwards they began receiving threatening phone calls, telling them that they would lose the right to meet for prayers if construction work was halted.

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