7 Deacons Undergo Indoctrination in China

ZHAOXIAN, China, DEC. 12, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Seven deacons reportedly were arrested and subjected to indoctrination to force them to follow the Patriotic Association that oversees religious activity.

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Also, Father Gao Baojin, rector of the underground seminary in the Diocese of Zhaoxian, in Hebei province, was arrested about three weeks ago, according to the AsiaNews agency. His whereabouts are unknown.

The seven deacons from his seminary who were arrested were forced to undergo indoctrination in Beijing and Xing Tai, in Hebei province, according to AsiaNews.

The seven were Shi Jun Long, Min Zhi Yong, Shi Chen Guang, Liu Zhong Feng, Liu Yun Tao, Huang Yu Tao and Lu Yan Hui, reported AsiaNews.

The deacons had to endure sleep deprivation and were not allowed to use the bathroom or take medication. They were released Dec. 3, said AsiaNews.

«The officials who had them abducted wanted to force them to sign a statement whereby they expressed their willingness to be ordained by a state-nominated bishop rather than one who is in communion with the Pope,» the agency said. «But the seminarians did not give in.»

AsiaNews sources said that Bishop Wang Chunlin of Zhaoxian was also subjected to pressures and denied the right to ordain.

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