Bishop Jia Released After 17 Days

BEIJING, JUNE 24, 2007 ( The underground Catholic bishop of Zheng Ding has been released after 17 days of solitary confinement. reported that Bishop Jia Zhiguo, 73, was returned Friday afternoon to his episcopal residence in the Hebei province in northeast China. He had been arrested June 5.

AsiaNews reported sources saying that the bishop was kept in isolation in an army barracks near Zanhuang.

The bishop has been sequestered a total of nine times since 2004.

According to many faithful, the police and government in Hebei fear that the Pope’s letter may result in tension and unrest.

Hebei is one of the provinces worst hit by the Chinese governments anti-Catholic persecution, and the area with the greatest concentration of underground Catholics.