CHINA – VATICAN Churches demolished, desecrated tombs, keeping kids from worship: persecution in the Henan Church (Video) | 042018

The church of the village of Hutuo has been reduced to a pile of ruins; the tomb of the bishop of Luoyang, not recognized by the government, was desecrated; children are forbidden to enter churches; threats against Catholic parents and seniors: if they continue to believe they will not receive government subsidies or pensions.

Rome (AsiaNews) – “The Catholic Church in the province of Henan, in central China, is violently persecuted! Pray for them! “: This is the appeal we received yesterday from different parts of China, along with a list of violent acts that have occurred in recent weeks and which we publish below. The last one in the order of time: the plaque and the tomb of Msgr. Li Hongye, was desecrated and destroyed (see photo 1). Msgr. Li (1920-2011) was bishop of Luoyang, recognized by the Holy See, but not by the government. He spent decades in forced labor camps and dozens more under house arrest. The faithful believe the tomb was targeted because the bore the signs of his episcopal office.

Yesterday, a church in the village of Hutuo (Xicun, Gongyi) in the diocese of Luoyang was also completely destroyed.

The most squalid violence took place in Zhengzhou: on Easter Sunday, last April 1st, during the mass, representatives of the government entered the church and forcibly removed all the children and young people under 18 to enforce the prohibition that is now being applied throughout China: it is forbidden to guarantee religious education to minors under the age of 18. Since then, every Sunday there are government employees at the entrance of the churches to enforce the implementation of the ban.

• On April 1st, 2018, Easter Sunday, while Mass was being held, government officials rushed into the church to drive away children from the church. Afterwards, every Sunday, a law enforcement vehicle was parked at the entrance of the church, and at least three law enforcement officers guarded the church entrance to prevent the faithful from taking children into the church. Even infants in mothers’ arms were not allowed to enter the church.
• The government threatened the faithful with sinister means of “not allowing Catholic children to go to school” and “deducting the 60 yuan government subsidy per month from the Catholic elders”. They even went to Catholic families door-to-door and told them: “Now, believing in religion is no longer allowed by the government, and whoever believes in it, your children will not be allowed to go to school; your elders’ subsidies will be deducted; and if you still do not listen to this advice, you will be expelled from public office; and if there are retirees at home, their pension will be stopped”.
• Government officials forcibly put up a board that says: “Minors can’t enter the church” outside the Cathedral, and sent law enforcement officers to guard the Cathedral main entrance on Sundays.