Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Priest Arrested in China..

More persecution in China..

XIWANZI, China, JULY 29, 2007 ( Four priests have been arrested and detained for refusing to join the Patriotic Association, the government body that oversees religious practice in the country.

Three of the priests were arrested July 24, at the home of Catholic faithful in the Ximeng region of Inner Mongolia, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reported.

Father Liang Aijun, 35, Father Wang Zhong, 41, and Father Gao Jinbao, 34, were hiding in order to avoid arrest, but were finally caught by eight plainclothes men.

During the initial phase of the arrest, the priests were locked up in a cage, prohibited from talking to anyone and refused water. They have now been transferred to an undisclosed location.

The fourth priest, Father Cui Tai, 50, of Shuangshu Village, Zhuolu County, was detained after a minor motorcycle accident in early July. He has been detained at the public security and religious bureau since the accident.

Father Cui, of the Diocese of Xuanhua, Hebei, has also refused to register with the Patriotic Association.

According to the Cardinal Kung Foundation, at least five bishops are in jail and others are under house arrest and surveillance. About 15 priests and an unknown number of laypeople are also jailed.

My parents use to live in a city 25 miles outside of Los Angeles up until 2 years ago. I lived their with them as I grew up from third grade until I got married.

As I would visit them I was often asked to go down to the corner store to refill their 5 gallon water container for the week.

There was this purified water store there run by an elderly North Korean man. A Christian man. It was his own business which he started and ran mostly by himself. He had these giant metal canisters set up behind this glass walled partition, with various pipes and hoses resembling some sort of purification system. How purified was the water, only God knows, but my parents swore their allegiance to this gentleman. The point seemed to them that his purified water was just as good if not better than the bottled water we could buy in the store. They could actually see the filtration system behind the window.

He would take your empty water container. Rinse it and clean it before refilling it with fresh water.

Parents are wise that way sometimes. What seemed to me as being a bit naive at that time seems all the wisdom today in light of just what was revealed by the "Aquafina" bottled water fiasco reported in the news last week.


My parents to me are wiser than I gave them credit for..... boy I'm I ashamed.

Anyway, I think the interaction between them and the 'water man' was more about relationships than it was about purified water. That's a lesson they taught me too.

They befriended him and would often converse with him on many visits about his country back home and the family he still had there.

On one occasion as I picked up water for them, the elderly man and I managed a conversation, he in is broken English and I in my attempted sign language. Looking back I don't know why I tried to use sign language. It seems rather dumb now but he didn't let on how dumb I must have really looked. He taught me a lesson in kindness that day as well.

Anyway, he told me how he planned to get back to his country at the end of the month to visit his congregation.


It ends up he was a pastor of a local church in the area of his old home. He was going back to bring bibles and various gift. He was going back to pray with them. This is illegal in North Korea as you know.

He knew the dangers of sneaking back into North Korea and especially dangerous if caught with bibles in ones possession. He had a comfortable life he in the U.S. , however he was determined to go back with his gifts to visit his congregation. He was their pastor and he knew they were waiting for him.

I never found out how that elderly man made out with his journey. My parents have since moved out of that city and closer to me.

I don't know what prompted me to remember this story, but I felt compelled to share.

This persecution in China, Iraq, North Korea and elsewhere. Even in our own news media.

We must not be afraid to be that Light in World our Lord needs us to be.

Let us pray for those being persecuted for the faith..

May the Lord protect them and guide them

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:35 AM

    A shame that this things happen.