UCA News
Contribute

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
Published: January 19, 2011 10:32 AM GMT
Updated: November 29, -0001 04:34 PM GMT

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 ucanews.com. 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. Ucanews.com 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

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia