Apr. 13: Newsgroups soc.culture.cuba, soc.culture.latin-america, soc.rights.human, talk.politics.china, soc.culture.china, soc.culture.taiwan, soc.culture.hongkong, us.politics
The International Campaign
to free Bishops Fan, Su and An
This Campaign has been greatly accelerated with the help of the Cuban exile community in the Americas. Our Cuban exile allies understand the evilness of Communist persecution, and so their Campaign participation has been invaluable
Renata Y. Jackson / Washington, DC email@example.com
I began the International Campaign to Free Bishops Fan, Su and An, of China, with the goal to inform the free world of the ongoing human rights violations of the Communist Chinese government against these persecuted Roman Catholic bishops.
This Campaign has been greatly accelerated with the help of the Cuban exile community in the Americas. Our Cuban exile allies understand the evilness of Communist persecution, and so their Campaign participation has been invaluable.
Despite Communist China's efforts to desperately establish herself as a more respectable member of the international community, the fact remains that Communist China has been increasingly relentless in her torturous abuses against the underground Church, esp. the clergy. Roman Catholics everywhere should not only be outraged over the bishops' decades-long maltreatment, but also voice their concerns particularly to their congressional representatives, the White House, the Chinese prime minister, UN Human Rights Commission, and other appropriate parties.
Bishop Joseph Fan of Shanghai (Coadjutor Bishop under Cardinal Kung, now in exile in Connecticut), eighty years old, was first arrested in 1955, & spent twenty years in China's infamous labor camps. When Bishop Kung was elevated to a cardinal, Bishop Fan was again jailed for a few months. In March 1997, the Public Security Bureau ransacked his apartment, confiscated his religious books and belongings, and has since placed him under 24 hour surveillance. His movements and communications are severely limited, and he is unable to exercise his ministry. This never-ending harassment against the elderly bishop is part of the psychological pressure that China uses against her so-called "enemies" of the state.
Three years ago, Bishops Su Zhimin and his auxiliary Bishop Francis An of the diocese of Baoding in Hebei province, simply vanished after their arrests. Their arrests occurred after the Communist government sent in thousands of troops, armored cars and helicopters to destroy a consecrated Marian shrine in the tiny village of Dong Lu, within the diocese of Baoding. This was a punishment from the Communists against the devoted underground Catholics who had trekked to Dong Lu months before, over 100,000 strong, in defiance of Communist China's orders not to pray at the shrine.
Bishop Su, 67, has been no stranger to China's labor camps, having suffered 19 years in them. The Communist Security Police (an oxymoron!) have been particularly brutal in their tortures against him, including once beating Bishop Su so badly that the wooden board became splintered. Bishop Su has also been hung from a ceiling while being tortured, and during another interrogation he was forced to stand for days in a cell filled with water several feet deep.
God only knows what has been happening to Bishop An since he vanished. Described as a "saint" by his congregation, this simply, holy, unselfish 50 year old man had dedicated himself wholly to his people in the diocese. This "enemy" of the state owned nothing, having given everything that he owned, gifts and all, to the impoverished of Baoding. Since his consecration in 1993, this man of God has been subjected to repeated internment in the Communists' labor camps. A letter written by an underground Chinese priest regarding Bishop An includes this telling statement from his Communist torturers: "The bishop will not compromise."
In closing, I'd like to say, Communist China and Communist Cuba should be put on notice: as long as these tyrannies continue to attempt to crush the underground Churches, Castro and Rongji will never hear the end of world wide protests that God fearing people are raising against their gross violations of human rights! For further information about the Campaign, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org