Bishop James Su Zhimin of Baoding in Hebei province of China has been missing for 23 years. The nephew of the underground bishop has appealed to the authorities about his whereabouts. Bishop Su was arrested by the Chinese government after being deemed as a counter-revolutionary in the year 1996 when he refused to join the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic patriotic association. Although he escaped detention in the year 1997, he was rearrested. His existence is unknown since his family members discovered him in a Baoding hospital in the year 2003 as reported by ucanews.com
Su Tianyou, the nephew of bishop said to the ucanews reporter that he is upset with tears without knowing the whereabouts of the bishop and urged the community to pray for him. Su Tianyou told to the ucanews.com that Guo Wei, a religious affair official involved in China –Vatican Negotiation had asked him to wait until the relation between two segments improves in 2015 which can help in the release of Bishop Su. Although the Beijing and Vatican signed a provincial agreement on Bishop’s agreement in September last year marking signs of improved relation, the information about the whereabouts of the clergy continues to be a mystery.
Su Tianyou exclaimed that the disappearance of Bishop Su has a serious impact since it’s a big issue at the international level. The Peace and Justice Commission in Hong Kong monitors the missing mainland clergy and has demanded the Chinese government release Bishop Su on many occasions. Bishop Su has been arrested at least five times and has undergone imprisonment exceeding 40 years Executive Secretary Lin Chan said to ucanews that the negotiation on China Vatican relation cannot ignore the case of missing bishops and it aims at normalizing the religious life of the Chinese People.