Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Fears grow for arrested Hebei priest

Parishioners pray for the safety of Father Peter Zhang Guangjun

Fears grow for arrested Hebei priest
Father Peter Zhang Guangjun has not been seen since his arrest reporter, Xuanhua

January 19, 2011

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

Catholic faithful in Xuanhua diocese in Hebei say they are concerned about the safety of a priest arrested last week. Father Peter Zhang Guangjun was taken from the home of a Catholic family by public security officers on January 13 and has not been seen since. Someone knocked on at the door of the house claiming to be from a local gas company, Church sources told When the door opened about 10 men barged in forcing one layperson aside and took the priest away, they said. There was no time for him to put on his coat and shoes. He was taken away in freezing temperatures, the sources said. It was hoped Father Zhang had been sent back to his hometown in Zhuolu County, but parishioners who went there were left disappointed after a local official refused to reveal any information about the priest, one source added. Another source said Father Zhang, 40, suffers from heart disease and was serving as assistant pastor in Xuanhua parish, taking care of “underground” Catholics. He is a man of virtue and well respected by parishioners, the source said. Since his arrest parishioners have organized 24-hour adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and some have begun novenas to ask God to protect their priest. Church sources believe government officials are trying to make the underground clergy carry a “priest card” (work permit) and to submit to the leadership of open Church authorities and the government. has learnt that nearly half of Xuanhua’s 40 priests now carry priest cards, including open and underground priests. Related reports China detains two priests in Hebei ‘Underground’ priests still missing after months CH12920.1637
Want more stories like this?
Sign up to receive UCAN Daily or Weekly newsletters (You can select one or more)
Want more stories like this?
Sign up to UCAN Daily or Weekly newsletters
You can select one or more
First Cut
Morning Daily
(Morning Daily)
Full Bulletin
Afternoon Daily
(Afternoon Daily)