|China||GOVT. CRACKS DOWN ON FAITHFUL CATHOLICS|
Dozens of Chinese priests and bishops belonging to the underground Catholic Church have been arrested by police in the last few months, according to Catholic World News.
At least six bishops loyal to the Pope have 'disappeared', some for more than three years, others for several months: all were pressured to accept the control of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
The Communist government requires Christians to worship only in state-controlled associations, including the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which eschews any connections to the Vatican or the Pope. Many Catholics worship in illegal, underground churches, following only bishops appointed by the Pope.
The same pressure is being put on underground Christian families: their children are banned from school, their churches are destroyed.
According to Catholic officials in Hong Kong, the Chinese government is implementing orders given in a secret document issued in August last year, aimed at either absorbing the underground Church into the Patriotic Association or suppressing it.
CWN 12:45am 2/2/00