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12/02/2018 China (International Christian Concern) – Bishop Perter Shao, who was taken away by Zhejiang authorities on November 9, and Father Lu Danhua of Lishui, who was taken away on the 29th of December of last year, were recently freed on November 23rd and 22nd respectively.

A source told UCA news that authorities did not specify the reason for taking away the bishop and that Father Lu was detained for illegally holding a Mass. Father Lu, who was ordained by Bishop Shao in 2016, is the only priest in sparsely populated Lishui Diocese and after being detained for 11 months was finally released because his brother was sick and needed to be looked after.

As the bishop and priest were detained, officials took the opportunity to intimidate the bishop, as well as going out to local parishes and asking the underground church to be open to join the government sanctioned church.

Many underground churches refuse to join the government approved churches as this would require them to submit to stringent censorship and deliver extraneous government propaganda.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].