BEIJING (AP) – Chinese police have arrested Bishop Augustine Cui Tai, a successor to the diocese of Chuanhuahua, who has been under house arrest for 13 years. Augustine, aged seventy and sick. The international community has been vocal on behalf of the bishop who was detained without due process of law. He was ordained a clergyman in 1990, and in 2013 he was appointed bishop of Benedict XVI. Chan Lok-shun, a justice of the Hong Kong Diocesan Commission of Justice, denounced China’s action as a “severe violation of independence”.
In China, the Communist Party denies religious freedom. He said the arrests were an example of the brutal suppression of religious leaders who disagreed with them. For decades, the Chinese Church has been split with the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which is controlled by the Communist Party of China, and an underground church that does not recognize the Vatican. Various reports point out that although the Vatican-China deal was aimed at uniting the two churches, religious persecution of Christians has not escalated.