Effort to gain release of 'underground' Chinese bishops, in custody for years, status unknown
December 30, 2011
As other media outlets announce their “Man of the Year” awards, the AsiaNews service has launched an effort to raise awareness of two Chinese Catholic bishops who have escaped public notice.
Both bishops, leaders of the “underground” Church, were arrested long ago. Today the Chinese government claims not to know where they are. But they are almost certainly still in custody, and AsiaNews wants worldwide pressure for their release.
Bishop James Su Zhimin, who has spent 40 years—half his life--in prison and labor camps, was most recently arrested in October 1997. He was spotted once in 2003, in a Beijing hospital. Otherwise Chinese authorities have disclosed nothing about his location, his health, or the charges against him.
Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang is 90 years old, and has spent 51 years in prison. His last arrest was in 2001; since that time his whereabouts have been unknown.
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