Chinese officials reportedly arrested an elderly bishop of the underground Catholic Church last week. Underground churches are also sometimes referred to as "Vatican loyalists" because they have attempted to remain loyal to the Pope and the Holy See. These steps included "destroy[ing] the organization of the, The points described above are but a few of the many examples of the harsh and ongoing, The Holy See "desires to be completely free to appoint bishops. Tags Bishop Han Jingtao Church in China Underground church . Paul Lu, a sacristan in a northern Chinese church, said that government officials have used the lockdowns to try to coerce underground Catholic priests to join the official church, threatening to shut down their parish churches if they fail to comply. CNA: According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30.Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping. It also actively seeks to stamp out those religious activities that are not government-sanctioned. But according to national statistics from the China State Council, Protestant Christians make up only an estimated 3% of China’s population and number around 38 million people, The Economist reports. The Underground Catholic Church in China has been severely persecuted by the Chinese Communist Government. Bitter Winter interviewed a priest from the Zhengding diocese in Hebei Province who, afraid of repercussions from authorities, wished to remain … According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. Since 1958 China’s Catholic Church has been split into underground and open communities, with the latter going by the title of the Patriotic Catholic Association with direct ties to the Communist party. Locally, the religion was known as Jingjiao (Chinese: 景教; pinyin: Jǐngjiào; Wade–Giles: Ching 3-chiao 4; lit. The persecution continues and gets worse at a time when China is given much freedom in business and finance, at a time when China is making significant economic progress, at a time when China is working … China’s communist authorities this week raided an underground Catholic community in Hebei province and detained two priests and at least a dozen seminarians and nuns whose whereabouts remain unknown, according to a report. Over the last few months, dozens of priests belonging to the underground Catholic Church have been arrested by police in mainland China. In China, there is an "underground" Catholic Church headed by secretive Vatican-approved bishops as well as a "patriotic" Church with illicit bishops appointed by … Fujian In 1999, in the Fuzhou diocese alone, where there is a strong underground community, 13 churches were destroyed. CatholicVote.org. A Catholic church in Jingzhou The Catholic Church in China (called Tiānzhǔ Jiào, 天主敎, literally, "Religion of the Lord of Heaven", after the term for God traditionally used in Chinese by Catholics) has a long and complicated history. The Underground Catholic Church in China has been severely persecuted by the Chinese Communist Government. A worshipper receives communion at a service in an underground church last year. According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. China Escalates Persecution of Underground Church News: World News by William Mahoney, Ph.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • March 10, 2020 Chinese Catholics attend a mass in a church on Christmas Eve in Shanghai, China, December 24, 2018. Consequently from 1949 to 1966, Chinese … The Catholic underground church in Xintaizi town has been sealed off. In 1997, the Cardinal Kung Foundation published a secret Chinese government document entitled "The Procedures Legally to Implement the Eradication of Illegal Activities/Operations of the Underground Catholic Church." Almost immediately, the new Communist government started putting pressure on the Roman Catholic Church. This drove underground many Catholics, who didn’t want to betray the successor of Saint Peter. “They kept the agreement secret even from me, a Chinese cardinal, so I don’t know its content. ", "The date May 24 could in the future become an occasion for the Catholics of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church which is in China. It was this underground episcopal conference that formed the backbone to the loyal underground Catholic church in China for the next few decades. The division between the government-sanctioned and underground Catholic churches emerged during the aftermath of the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War of 1945-49. The Church of the East or the sometimes referred to as Nestorian Church historically had a presence in China during two periods: first from the 7th through the 10th century, and later during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries. China was willing to enter into the agreement for one simple reason: It wanted Vatican help in eliminating the underground Catholic Church and had the leverage to secure that concession. Underground Church property, built without government permission, has been burnt or destroyed. China detains ‘underground’ Catholic bishop: sources The northern province of Hebei remains one of the strongest centres of underground Catholicism despite extensive monitoring from the authorities. Bishop Kung's fidelity and resistance was an inspiration for the bishops and thousands of Catholics throughout China. (Credit: Thomas Peter/ Reuters via CNS.) Beijing has quietly indicated that it will soon… Religious Freedom in China: A False Promise. Through the many encyclicals and apostolic letters, Pope Pius XII, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have repeatedly reminded the Catholic Church in China of this basic doctrine of the Catholic Church. As a result, many Christians in China have no option but to meet in their houses or in office buildings; in places of prayer called ‘underground churches’. On December 10, officials from county ’s Religious Affairs Bureau informed the underground church in Xintaizi town under Tieling’s jurisdiction that it did not have an official permit, nor was the national flag displayed, so it was considered an illegal meeting venue. The term underground church (Chinese: 地下教会; pinyin: dìxià jiàohuì) is used to refer to Chinese Catholic churches in the People's Republic of China which have chosen not to associate with the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, they are also called loyal church (Chinese: 忠贞教会; pinyin: zhongzhen jiàohuì). The Catholic underground church in Xintaizi town has been sealed off. Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping. [1][4], Protestant churches in China which have not jointed the state-sanctioned Protestant church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, are generally termed house churches rather than underground churches.[4]. The diverging tendencies toward reconciliation and martyrdom led to the split between the government-sanctioned Patriotic Catholic Church with its loyalty to Beijing and the underground church, which was loyal to Rome. It appoints its own bishops … In return, the Vatican may force many local communities to accept clerics appointed by China’s Communist authorities rather than popular “underground” church … Share Other Posts . close. The defining moment of the conference was the election of Bishop Peter Joseph Fan Xueyan of Baoding as head of the underground Chinese Catholic Bishops Conference, a direct act of defiance to Beijing. It is "indispensable…..that every bishop should be in communion with the other bishops, and that all should be in visible and concrete communion with the Pope. There is no established organization structure of underground churches, though they tend to be clustered around a number of Vatican-ordained bishops. Shortly afterwards, most of the … . Why many Christians in China have turned to underground churches. As most readers are surely aware, there are two religious realities in China, the faithful underground Roman Catholic Church that has been fiercely persecuted by the Communist government for more than a half-century, and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), established in 1957 and directed by the Communist government. Thus, for decades, China has lived with two Catholic … Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and Bishops Conference of Catholic Church in China (BCCC) are often used by the government to oppress underground churches throughout China. Underground churches in China are considered illegal, although smaller groups of fewer than 5 members are sometimes tolerated by the government. The unyielding fidelity of these pastors and the blood of the martyrs encouraged the entire Catholic community in China. This document recommended steps to be taken to destroy the Underground RCC. According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. catholic churches in Guangzhou city. Vatican officials believe a deal with China could improve the lives of Chinese Catholics, especially those in the underground church. Underground Church - Under Xi Jinping, the underground church in China is under unprecedented persecution that involves not only Mao-era brute force but also mass surveillance using 600 million CCTV cameras, face-recognition artificial intelligence, big data and a new 'social credit' system that scores and requires every Chinese citizen to adhere to Chinese government policies. At least 6 bishops from the underground Church have disappeared some for more than 3 years, others for several months all because they refused to accept the control of the official Catholic Church the Patriotic Association. The need to "purify our memories, to pardon the wrong-doers, to forget the injustices suffered, and to restore the troubled hearts to serenity in order to grow and to make visible the bonds of communion between the faithful and the pastors of the Church in China. However, in April and May, 1996, the Chinese government mobilized 5000 troops, supported by dozens of armored cars and helicopters, destroyed and leveled that Marian shrine, confiscated the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and arrested many priests. [citation needed] While there are churches for expatriates and expat Christians staying in China are allowed to have their own churches which are not interfered by the government, foreigners, including those of Chinese heritage, found involved with underground churches will be arrested and deported. The Underground Catholic Church in China Betrayed by the Vatican Posted on November 6, 2018 by Catholicism Pure & Simple This first post from CNA reports the background to the treacherous China Deal made by the Vatican with the atheist/communist government of China. Religion Freedom in Context: Zen answered , "Yes, it is obvious for … Christianity has existed in China in various forms since at least the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century AD. However, since the Chinese Government views religion as a threat to its power, it restricts religious activities to only government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship. Similarly, the Catholic Church in China has grown from 3 million members to over 12 million during the same 50-year period. One of the oldest Marian shrines in China is Our Lady of Dong Lu in Hebei, approximately 100 miles from Beijing. The persecution continues and gets worse and bolder at a time when China is making significant economic progress, at a time when China has joined the World Trade Organization, and at a time when China has become an important member of the international community, including the host of the Olympic Games, which represent the spirit of peace. For security reason, most overseas Chinese churches, even the Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference, the only Chinese Bishops' Conference recognised by the Holy See which is nowadays based in Taiwan, refuse to support the underground churches in China. On December 10, officials from county ’s Religious Affairs Bureau informed the underground church in Xintaizi town under Tieling’s jurisdiction that it did not have an official permit, nor was the national flag displayed, so it was considered an illegal meeting venue. The state-sanctioned Catholic Church in communist China has approved and installed another underground bishop loyal to the Vatican but Catholic leaders were not fully informed about the move, church sources said. As most readers are surely aware, there are two religious realities in China, the faithful underground Roman Catholic Church that has been fiercely persecuted by the Communist government for more than a half-century, and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), established in 1957 and directed by the Communist government. Montecorvino was China’s first Catholic bishop, who built his cathedral in 1299 in Khanbaliq, known today as Beijing. By Eugene K. Chow . In 1955, a mass arrest took place in the Shanghai diocese by the Chinese government. The U. S. State Department has named China a country of particular concern (CPC) for more than a decade for its "systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations" of religious freedom. [1], There continues to be tensions between underground churches and "open churches" which have joined the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (Chinese: 中国天主教爱国会; pinyin: Zhōngguó Tiānzhǔjiào Àiguó Huì). It was this underground episcopal conference that formed the backbone to the loyal underground Catholic church in China for the next few decades. Few of them are offering masses in foreign languages regularly. CNA: According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. January 1, 2021 at 6:33 am . [2], The description of an "underground church" reflects language that was made popular during the Cold War, when these churches came about. Bishop Paul Ma Cunguo of Shuozhou was installed at a public ceremony in Shanxi province on July 9. Stephen M DiGiovanni, Church Militant: Bishop Kung and Catholic Resistance in Communist Shanghai by Paul P Mariani, The Legion of Mary Remembering their Bishop, Condolences from His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Vatican Urges Charitable But Clear Contact With Chinese, China 8-Point Guideline By Cardinal Tomko, Directives On Some Of The Problems Of The Church In China, Papal Letter to the Catholic Church in China 2007 (English), Papal Letter to the Catholic Church in China 2007 (Traditional Chinese), Papal Letter to the Catholic Church in China 2007 (Simplified Chinese), Notes on the Papal Letter 2007 (Traditional Chinese), Notes on the Papal Letter 2007 (Simplified Chinese), Compendium of the Papal Letter to the Church in China 2009 (English), Compendium of the Papal Letter to the Church in China 2009 (English and Chinese), Prayer for the opening of the cause of canonization, Prayer for the Intercession Cardinal Zen, now a humanitarian activist and religious freedom-fighter, is troubled by the Vatican’s recent announcement, saying it could open the underground Catholic Church in China to further abuses. The Chinese … 'above ground church'), which are officially independent of the Holy See. Finally, there are certain bishops - a very small number of them - who have been ordained without the pontifical mandate and who have not asked for or have not yet obtained the necessary legitimation. A Vatican document of 1988 barred Roman Catholics from participating in the sacraments of the Patriotic Church… Many of them are in jail or in labor camp. Chinese officials reportedly arrested an elderly bishop of the underground Catholic Church last week. Some predict that by 2030, China will have more than 247 million Christians. ". NOTE : Some information of this video is given as "Subtitles". PO Box 259837. If I leave the Holy Father, not only would I not be a Bishop, I would not even be a Catholic. According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. It is on-going. Even the term “underground” is largely a misnomer now. ." However, since the Chinese Government views religion as a threat to its... Brief History of the Development of the Roman Catholic Church in … In view of the points described above, the religious persecution of underground Roman Catholic in China is obviously not ancient history. It is the home to 40 of the 120 martyr saints canonized by Pope John Paul II in October 1, 2000. | Catholic Religion in China | Projects | Donations, Press Releases | Newsletters | Articles | Forms and Procedures | Contact us, Please direct any questions or comments regarding this web site to Cardinal Kung Foundation, Education of Seminarians and Religious Program, Preservation of the Legacy of His Eminence, the Late Ignatius Cardinal Kung, Homily at the Cardinal's Titular Church of St. Sixtus, Speech Upon Receiving the Key to the City of Stamford, Ignatius: The Life of Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin-Mei by by Msgr. China was willing to enter into the agreement for one simple reason: It wanted Vatican help in eliminating the underground Catholic Church and had the leverage to secure that concession. It is not unusual that Chinese Catholics attending underground churches get arrested, detained without trial, even tortured. . Many members of the underground Catholic Church in China, which is faithful to Rome, have resisted joining the Patriotic Association for fear of being “completely controlled by the CCP, cut off from God,” one Chinese Catholic told Bitter Winter. In his early years growing up in a Catholic family, Han received a high-quality formation and education from the Canadian missionaries of … The pope has granted them the full and legitimate exercise of episcopal jurisdiction. Authorities raid underground church in China, detain priests and nuns. Guangzhou City Sacred Heart Cathedral of Guangzhou Address: Catholic cathedral in Guangzhou China. Photo: AFP/ Getty Images . As a result, generations of Chinese Catholics have had to choose between aligning with the official, state-sponsored Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association—run by bishops appointed, not by the Vatican, but by the Chinese government—and with the “underground Church,” in which bishops appointed by Rome brought the Sacraments at great personal risk to … Share. Many members of the underground Catholic Church in China, which is faithful to Rome, ... China’s Catholic Church has been split into underground and open communities since 1958, with the latter going by the title of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. But … Unfortunately, some of these legitimized bishops have failed to provide any clear signs to prove that they have been legitimized. Asked in July 2019 if persecution increased for the underground Church after the 2018 Vatican-China deal, Cdl. The Vatican Recognized Roman Catholic Church is Effectively Known as an Underground Church, The Religious Persecution of the Underground Roman Catholic Church. What the Vatican-China agreement is bringing us is ruin.” After the signing of the interim agreement, the CCP has increased their suppression of underground Catholic churches and intimidated many from the underground clergy into joining the Patriotic Catholic Association. Those religious groups that do not submit to the government guidelines and are not willing to allow a secular and government agency to dictate its religious activities face severe consequences: surprise raids, heavy fines, imprisonment, torture and even revoking priestly/episcopal title as well as its duties regardless of Pope's approval. China was willing to enter into the agreement for one simple reason: It wanted Vatican help in eliminating the underground Catholic Church and had the leverage to secure that concession. For this, Bishop Kung disappeared in a Chinese jail for more than 30 years. This estimate, however, is much lower than what the … Other pastors, however, under the pressure of particular circumstances, have consented to receive episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate, but have subsequently asked to be received into communion with the pope. Bishops Conference of Catholic Church in China, "Do not abandon Catholics in China, Cardinal tells Church", "Christianity in Contemporary China: An Update", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Underground_church&oldid=993144175, Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 01:08. In his early years growing up in a Catholic family, Han received a high-quality formation and education from the Canadian missionaries of … About sharing. Published 26 March 2016. (Aly Song/Reuters) Having secured the papacy’s help in weakening the Chinese Catholic underground, Xi Jinping’s regime is … Such persecution is not ancient history. Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping. This drove underground many Catholics, who didn’t want to betray the successor of Saint Peter. Copy link. Religious groups throughout China held self-study meetings in which suspected reactionaries were denounced. [3] However, underground churches would in 1989 form the Bishops Conference of Mainland China (Chinese: 天主教中国大陆主教团; pinyin: Tiānzhǔjiào Zhōngguó Dàlù Zhǔjiào Tuán) as separate from the state-sanctioned Bishops Conference of Catholic Church in China (Chinese: 中国天主教主教团; pinyin: Zhōngguó Tiānzhǔjiào Zhǔjiào Tuán), which was established in 1980. (Aly Song/Reuters) Having secured the papacy’s help in weakening the Chinese Catholic underground, Xi Jinping’s regime is reneging on the commitments it made in return. In mid-December, two churches were blown up in Wenzhou, after three others were demolished in April. Whilst these churches are not illegal per se, China is officially an atheist state, and in recent years, the government has struggled to contain the explosion of this religious movement. Among all the guidelines and directives that Pope Benedict XVI has set forth for the Church that is in China in his letter to China on May 27, 2007, the Pope insisted, among other issues, that, Home | Mission | Did You Know...? Similar pressure is … Such persecution is not ancient history. The constitution of the Chinese government guarantees its citizens "religious freedom." click "CC" button. ", It is indispensable that, when legitimation of once illegitimate CCPA bishops has occurred, it "is brought into the public domain at the earliest opportunity, and that the legitimized bishops provide unequivocal and increasing signs of full communion with the Pope.". Failing to eradicate the Catholic Church, the Chinese government created in 1957 its own Church, called the, The Catholic Church in China, therefore, has two faces: the government-established. . Thus, for decades, China has lived with two Catholic churches… Underground churches came into existence in the 1950s, after the communist party's establishment of the People's Republic of China, due to the severing … Many died in jail. Catholic Church in China It Is Now Known As An Underground Church. Therefore, although not in communion with the pope, they exercise their ministry validly in the administration of the sacraments, even if they do so illegitimately. The Chinese national flag flies in front of a Catholic church in Huangtugang, China, Sept. 30, 2018. [3], Chinese Catholics associated with underground churches are often seen in contrast with the Chinese Catholics associated with the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, often termed "open churches" (Chinese: 地上教会; pinyin: dìshàng jiàohuì; lit. In his early years growing up in a Catholic family, Han received a high-quality formation and education from the Canadian missionaries of Quebec, … of Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin-Mei, A Prayer on the Crucifixion of Jesus by Cardinal Kung, Prayer for China by Cardinal Kung (Coat of Arms), Prayer to the Guardian Angels of Aborted Babies, Religious Freedom in China: A False Promise, Brief History of the Development of the Roman Catholic Church in China, China turned Communist in 1949. The Patriotic Association is the Communist Party-sanctioned parallel “Catholic” organization in China that is independent of Rome. By 1953, many Chinese and foreign bishops and priests and laypersons were arrested. And Pope Benedict XVI said in 2007 that loyal Catholics could worship in Chinese government-approved churches. Lu said that authorities closed his own church on August 9 and kept it shut for the August 15 feast, saying they needed … By remaining loyal and obedient to the Pope, and by remaining in full communion with the Holy Father and the universal Church, the Roman Catholic Church in China is outlawed by the Chinese government and is generally known as the, Paraphrased below are His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's elaborations in, "Some Chinese bishops, who have received episcopal ordination in communion with the pope, not wishing to be subjected to undue control exercised over the life of the Church, and eager to maintain total fidelity to the pope and to Catholic doctrine, have felt themselves constrained, not without suffering, to opt for clandestine. The Chinese government formed the Three Autonomies Movement to organize the clergy to abandon the Holy See under the excuse of patriotism and nationalism. In one night on September 8, 1955, more than 200 clergy and faithful, including Bishop Ignatius Kung, the Bishop of Shanghai, who refused to support "the Three Autonomies" movements to be independent of the Holy See, were arrested. During May each year for the last approximately 100 years, there were continued pilgrimages from thousands of Catholics throughout China. Atheistic communist leaders like Mao Zedong believed that religion would fade away over time with the progress of democratic socialism. About half of China’s Christian population chooses to go to an underground church rather than one of the state-sponsored churches run by organisations such as the Catholic Patriotic Association, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee and the Christian Council.“This kind of church has a much more familiar feel, you know everybody,” said one underground church … Underground churches came into existence in the 1950s, after the communist party's establishment of the People's Republic of China, due to the severing of ties between Chinese Catholics and the Holy See. The CCP-controlled Patriotic Church was to be the institution wherein Chinese Catholic unification would take place, with the pope’s blessing. Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping. CNA Staff. Some members of the underground Catholic clergy in China believe that the Vatican-China agreement has exacerbated the persecution of underground Catholics, and they see no hope for their churches to survive. 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