Chinese priest in Zhejiang province goes missing after Christmas

ICC Note: Chinese priest Lu Danhua of Lishui Diocese in Zhejiang was taken away by local authorities after Christmas from his dormitory, claiming that he was going for a brief chat. However, he remains missing up until this day. The authorities had stated that Father Lu needed to go to Wenzhou for a “re-education” on new religious regulations coming into effect Feb. 1 and that he would return after obtaining a permit to be a priest. A priest ordained by underground church Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, Father Lu has served Lishui Diocese since Dec of 2016.

01/10/2018 (UCA News) –Father Lu Danhua of Lishui Diocese of China’s eastern Zhejiang province has been missing since government officials suddenly took him away just after Christmas.

He is the only priest of Lishui Diocese and his predecessor was Kenneth Roderick Turner of Scarboro Foreign Mission Society from 1948 to 1983. Wenzhou Diocese subsequently administered Lishui Diocese.

Father Lu was ordained by underground church Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou on Dec. 14, 2016, and has served Lishui Diocese up to now.

Bishop Shao was released by authorities Jan. 3 after being detained since May 2017. A source who did not want to be named told ucanews.com that the reason for taking Father Lu away was not related to Bishop Shao.

But he said authorities had stated that Father Lu needed to go to Wenzhou for “re-educating” on new religious regulations coming into effect Feb. 1 and that he would return after obtaining a permit to be a priest.

At noon on Dec. 29, officials of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) took Father Lu away from a priests’ dormitory.

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