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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hunt for priests in Xiwanzi diocese

Rome (AsiaNews) – The Patriotic Association (PA) has launched a violent campaign against underground Catholics in Xiwanzi. This was denounced in an appeal from some faithful that reached AsiaNews. Prompted by the local authorities, the police are on a manhunt, with door-to-door searches for underground priests to make them inscribe to the PA. Believers who refuse to collaborate and to act as spies are arrested or left without work. Those with shops are forced to shut down. The auxiliary bishop of the diocese, Mgr Yao Liang, has been missing in police custody since 30 July. There are also 20 believers and two priests in prison. The appeal that reached AsiaNews ended with a plea: “Brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the Christian faith in China may be truly free!”

The diocese of Xiwanzi (Hebei) is a diocese of the underground Church, with 15,000 members, around 260km north of Beijing, nearly at the border with Inner Mongolia.

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.