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Catholic World News News Feature

Chinese underground bishop dies in custody September 11, 2007

Bishop Han Dingxiang of the Yong Nian diocese in Hebei province had been in custody for nearly eight years after his most recent arrest, the Cardinal Kung Foundation said. He had been imprisoned on 11 different occasions during his life, spending a total of about 35 years in prison, labor camp, or under house arrest.

Born in 1937, Han Dingxiang was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1986 and consecrated a bishop in 1989, having already spent years in labor camps. In 1999 he was arrested while conducting a religious retreat. After 6 years in various prisons, in 2005 he was moved to a new undisclosed location. Since that time his whereabouts and physical condition had been unknown, until close relatives were summoned to his bedside just prior to his death.

State authorities ordered the cremation of the bishop's body and burial of the remains within hours after his death, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reports.

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