|China||GOVT DETAINS CATHOLIC BISHOP, PRIESTS|
Chinese authorities have detained a bishop of the underground Roman Catholic church, three priests and a layperson for unspecified reasons, the Connecticut USA-based Cardinal Kung Foundation said on Monday.
Han Dingxiang, 63, bishop of Yongnian diocese in the northern province of Hebei, was detained in December when he was leading a religious retreat in the provincial capital Shijiazhuang, the foundation said in a statement. His whereabouts was not known.
Chinese officials said they were unaware of the report.
Han previously had been jailed for a total of about 20 years for pledging allegiance to the Pope instead of the Communist Party, the foundation said.
Authorities in Hebei also detained three underground Catholic priests last year, two of whom are at a detention centre and denied visitors, it said.
Wang Chengqun, a lay leader in the underground church, was arrested in Baoding in Hebei shortly before Christmas and sent to a labour camp, the foundation said.