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Catholic World News News Feature

Chinese underground bishop arrested again June 06, 2007

A prominent leader of the "underground" Catholic Church in China has been arrested for the 9th time in the past three years, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reports.

Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of the Zhengding diocese was reportedly taken into custody on June 5. The Cardinal Kung Foundation says that the bishop's current whereabouts are unknown.

The bishop is among the most visible Catholic leaders in the Hebei province, outside Beijing. The underground Catholic Church is particularly active in Hebei, and local authorities have frequently arrested bishops and priests, pressing them to recognize the leadership of the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association.

Bishop Jia was arrested in November 2005 and held in prison until September 2006. Upon his release he was confined to his own residence, his activities severely restricted. The 73-year-old bishop has spent roughly 20 years of his life in jail.

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