|Sun, January 24, 2021 at 7:57 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
After raiding a church summer camp for children in China's Gansu province, authorities dismissed two Catholic priests for holding an "illegal" retreat as persecution intensifies.
Catholic news agency UCAN reported that dozens of children, ages 10 to 14, were meeting for a week-long youth retreat when police raided the campsite in the northern city of Tianjin and shut it down. The organizers of the camp, Father Wang Yiqin, and Father Li Shidong, were accused of holding an illegal activity and sent back to their hometowns.
Tianjin officials later sent a letter to China's state-controlled Catholic Church agency requesting that two new priests be sent as their replacements.
"There are people in the government who want to break the current situation," a source told the Catholic news agency UCAN. "They do not allow the underground church to exist and must convert it to be open."
In recent years, China's officially atheistic party has tightened its grip over the country's five officially recognized religions, ordering them to work toward "sinosization." A number of churches that refused to be registered with the government and infused with "Chinese characteristics" - such as loyalty to the Communist party - have been closed and destroyed. READ MORE>>>>