The Chinese authorities in Luoyonge have arrested underground Bishop Li Hongye 83, a deacon and 14 nuns, the charity Aid to the Church in Need learnt today. Most of the religious were still incarcerated on 1st July in public security offices, although the whereabouts of the bishop and some of the sisters remain unknown. No official charges have yet been filed against any of the prisoners. The Christian community of Luoyang is especially concerned with the health of Bishop Li, because of his advanced age and past prison experiences. The Italian agency ANSA has also reported the recent arrest of 16 underground priests from the province of Jiangxi. Fr Liao Haiqing of Yujiang Diocese, some 790 miles south of Beijing, was taken away from his home, while 15 other clergymen were arrested in the middle of the night, while attending a seminar. In China, all Catholics are required to belong to the Catholic Patriotic Association, a denomination, which does not have any official ties with the Vatican. Catholics who are openly faithful to Rome are persecuted.
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