Chinese Bishop Yao Liang Reportedly Released

STAMFORD, Connecticut, APRIL 27, 2005 ( Auxiliary Bishop Yao Liang of the Chinese diocese of Xiwanzi, in Hebei province, who was arrested March 31, was released a week ago, says a U.S.-based watchdog group.

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The Cardinal Kung Foundation, headquartered in Connecticut, confirmed the prelate’s release to ZENIT, although the exact date of his liberation is unknown. Nor did the group know the whereabouts of the octogenarian prelate.

Before his arrest, Bishop Yao had been under pressure by the Chinese authorities to break his ties with the Pope and join the government-approved «patriotic» church. The prelate refused to give in, said the Kung Foundation.

The faithful of the Diocese of Xiwanzi believe that the prelate’s refusal to join the «official church» was the reason for his arrest, the group said.

The Kung Foundation’s alert followed another issued March 30, regarding the arrest of Father Zhao KeXun, 75, administrator of the Diocese of Xuanhua, in Hebei.

The foundation also reported the detention of Father Wang JinLing, 80, of Zhangjiakou, arrested April 1, again with no reasons given; his whereabouts are also unknown.

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