Chinese Authorities Abduct, Torture Priest to Force State Conversion

Catholics sing on Christmas eve at a church in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, December 24, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Jon Woo)

Communist authorities in China have abducted and tortured a 46-year-old priest in the southeastern province of Fujian for refusing to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, according to reports.

Father Liu Maochun from the Diocese of Mindong was ruthlessly tortured, according to Bitter Winter, a magazine that reports on religious liberty and human rights in China.

Officers banged a “gong beside his ear and shone a bright light into his eyes for several consecutive days—a torture method known as ‘exhausting an eagle’ when people are deprived of sleep for a long time,” the magazine said, quoting a source in the diocese.

Liu Maochun, who assists the diocese’s auxiliary bishop Guo Xijin, was taken away by police on Sept. 1 while he was visiting patients in a hospital. He was reportedly taken to a detention house in the county-level city of Fu’an.

“The government claimed that Fr. Liu Maochun has disobeyed its rule and was ‘ideologically radical,’” the source was quoted as saying.

Bishop Guo had also refused to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. The government earlier pressured a deacon in the diocese, threatening to demolish his house and sack his children if he further supported Guo’s refusal to join the Patriotic Church, the magazine said.

An insider in the Fu’an city government told the magazine that the authorities suspect that Fr. Maochun may have shared information with foreign media about another priest, Fr. Huang, who too was tortured for not joining the Patriotic Church.

China has an estimated 12 million Catholics and two major groupings, those registered with the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and an underground church of Catholics, who reject state control, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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SOURCE: Christian Post