The Catholic community of Baoding in Hebei Province, has recently started campaigning for the urgent release of their bishop, James Su Zhimin D.This call for his release is in response to the announcement of a broad amnesty granted by the Chinese president to commemorate the75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Catholics in Baoding wrote a letter to the local Communist Party leaders that requested the release of thebishop who is 82 years old and has been detained for nearly two decades. James Su Zhimin was arrested in 1996 on charges of “counter-revolutionary”acts simply because he refused to join the Catholic Patriotic Association of China, an institution created by Beijing to control the Christians in the country.
Following his imprisonment in 1996, the whereabouts of the bishop since 2003 are unknown. In addition to James Su Zhimin, other bishops of Hebei Province are also being held by the communist authorities. They are D. Cui Tai, coadjutor bishop of Xuanhua and D. Cosmas Shi Enxiang, Bishop of Yixing, who disappeared 14 years ago.