|China||AUTHORITIES ARREST FOUR CATHOLIC LEADERS|
Police have arrested an 81 year old bishop and three priests of China's underground Roman Catholic church, a US based church group said this week.
Bishop Lin Xili of Wenzhou, in the southeastern province of Zhejiang, had been in hiding but was arrested on 7 September on a six-month-old warrant, the Cardinal Kung Foundation said. Lin has already spent some 20 years in prison, the group said in a statement.
Fr Wang Chengzhi and Fr Shao Amin of Wenzhou were picked up earlier, on 3 and 5 September respectively. Fr Chu Guangyao of Shanghai was arrested on 16 Aug and his house was ransacked, the foundation said.
It did not know the whereabouts of the four clerics, nor details about their cases.
Beijing has stepped up efforts to crush dissent during its vigorous preparation for planned 1 October celebrations to mark 50 years of communist rule.
The recent wave of religious arrests ``is a strong indication that China has no intention of granting true religious freedom to its citizens,'' said Joseph Kung, president of the Cardinal Kung foundation.
AP 12:15pm 16/9/99