China Arrests Mass Attendees

PINGTAN, China, JULY 29, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Chinese government arrested a priest, a seminarian and nine parishioners who had been celebrating Mass in a private home in Pingtan, reported a U.S.-based watchdog group.

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On Wednesday, officials interrupted Father Lin Daixian, 40, priest of the Diocese of Fuzhow — in southeast province of Fujian — and some 50 faithful, as they were praying for a parishioner suffering from cancer, reported the Connecticut-based Cardinal Kung Foundation on Thursday.

In arresting the priest of the underground Catholic Church, the police «savagely beat the parishioners who tried in vain to prevent Father Lin’s arrest,» reported the foundation.

According to the statement, «many parishioners were beaten and suffered severe injuries, including broken bones and teeth, brain injuries causing severe swelling, fainting, and many other» injuries.

The group added that the house where the arrests took place was ransacked and severely damaged.

Father Lin, and the seminarian and the nine parishioners, whose names are unknown, are now being kept in the Pingtan detention center.

This is the fourth time the Chinese government has arrested Father Lin.

The underground Church in China, which professes loyalty to Rome, does not have Beijing’s approval.

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