Two Priests Arrested in China
BREAKING NEWS: Chinese police seize two priests in Mutanjiang
Two priests, who serve underground parishes not recognized by the government, have been arrested in China. There current whereabouts are unknown.
by Bernardo Cervellera
3/22/2015 China (Asia News)-Chinese police seized two priests today in the city of Mutanjiang (Heilongjiang). The two clergymen – Fr Shaoyun Quan, 41, and Fr Jianyou Cao, 43 – had just celebrated Mass. After their arrest at 10.30 am, they were taken to an unknown location.
Fr Quan, the parish priest, and Fr Cao, his deputy, serve underground communities that are not recognised by the government. They perform their duties at locations that are not registered with the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Under existing rules, religious activities outside government control are illegal. Anyone involved in such actions can be arrested for “criminal” activities.
Still, local Catholics are stunned by the violence of the two clergymen’s arrest. Although they are underground priests, their activities were known to police, and tolerated as long as they kept a “low profile”. Indeed, the two carried out their duties, including evangelisation, “peacefully” and “quietly” in the past few months.