Priest and Seminarian Arrested in China

STAMFORD, Connecticut, SEPT. 5, 2005 ( A Catholic priest and seminarian were arrested in the Chinese province of Hebei for their work of evangelization, says a U.S.-based watchdog group.

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Seven or eight police vans were mobilized for this arrest by the Security Bureau of Qing Yuan Xian county, Hebei, around 3 p.m. Friday, said the Cardinal Kung Foundation.

The arrested are Father Pang Yongxing, 32, and the recently graduated seminarian Ma Yongjiang, both of the «underground» Church, which recognizes the authority of the Pope but is not officially approved by the Communist government of Beijing.

The Kung Foundation said in a report today that the priest had been arrested previously, in 2001. On that occasion he was sent to a labor camp for three years.

Since his release a year ago, Father Pang has been carrying out his ministry in Qing Yuan county, which has some 800 «underground» Catholics.

Ma Yongjiang, who recently finished his seminary studies, was helping in Father Pang’s parish.

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