CHINA – Three Catholic priests gone missing
In China three priests from the underground Catholic Church have disappeared recently under mysterious circumstances.
In the diocese of Baoding in Hebei province Fr Yang Jianwei, the pastor of Anzhuan, disappeared on April 15. According to local sources, this happened in an area where driving tests take place. The priest had gone there with his driving instructor to take a test and was not seen again. The driving instructor asked the staff of the site to check the images of security cameras to establish what had happened to Father Yang. His request was rejected.
That same afternoon, the family of the priest to the site and later reported him missing at a nearby police station. After long wait, a policeman contacted the driving test site. He was told that he could not see the security camera images unless he had permission from the Public Security Bureau of Baoding. The police did not investigate further. The whereabouts of Fr Yang are still unknown and no one has heard from him.
Local Catholics asked fellow believers via social media to help them find the priest. “We must protect the rights of our priests and ensure their safety,” said one of them. “We will not just stand by and watch our priests go missing. We will continue to look for Fr Yang. “
Both the diocese of Xuanhua and that of Fuzhou have also reported that a priest of their underground churches disappeared recently. No further details are known about these other two missing priests.