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11/06/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – An underground Catholic community in China’s Hebei province has been raided by the local authorities, with many taken away.

According to Asia News, on the morning of November 2, two priests from the unofficial community of Baoding and more than a dozen seminarians and nuns from the same community were forcibly taken away by government officials. After a few hours, two seminarians were released.

On the same day, Fr. Lu Genjun, former vicar general of Baoding, was also removed from the community. Until now, no one knows their whereabouts.

A priest from Baoding told Asia News that the abduction took place shortly after the renewal of the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement on bishop appointment. He asked all Catholics to pray for the kidnapped and for full religious freedom in China.

It is likely that their detention is used to force them to join the state-sanctioned Catholic open church.

The diocese of Baoding, is one of the largest and has at least 50,000 underground Catholics. Its bishop, Msgr. James Su Zhimin, has been in police custody for 13 years. The 88-year-old bishop has not been seen or heard from since 2003.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].