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01/08/2024 China (International Christian Concern) —Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, was arrested in mid-December 2023 and then released a few days later. He was arrested again on Christmas Day 2023 to prevent him from leading Christmas mass and festivities in Zheijang.  

Bishop Shao is regularly arrested by Chinese police and security forces because he refuses to join the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) and is therefore not legally recognized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and local officials.  

This latest arrest might be significant in length as sources report he was told to bring clothing for all seasons, indicating a longer sentence this time.  

The harassment, arrests, and restriction of Bishop Shao’s ministry has been happening since 2016. Wenzhou is nicknamed the “Jerusalem of the East” because of its large number of churches and its huge Catholic population. Bishop Shao’s ongoing rejection of the CPA will likely continue to put him in conflict with local CCP, police and security forces. 

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