Almost every week the Catholic Press carries stories of the death and the imprisonment of the missionaries and the faithful in China at the hands of the Communists. The fact is that by any standard there is a full-scale persecution of the Church in that country in which the hierarchy was so recently established.
Fully documented evidence of the death during the past year, 1947, of 82 priests, nuns and faithful, has reached the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide in Rome, as well as full evidence of the imprisonment of at least 150 priests, nuns and faithful, without mention of the hundreds of missionaries who have been expelled from the areas in which they had often flourishing missions. In order to give sonic idea of the overall picture of persecution in China, we print below, province by province, the details of
the deaths, imprisonments and torturings prepared by Fides News Service.
KIAMUSZE: The Prefect Apostolic, Mgr Hintringer, and eight of his missionaries, Tyrolese Capuchins, were deported to Harbin where they are still prisoners.
TSITSIHAR: The Prefect Apostolic, Mgr. Hugentobler and five Swiss missionaries are prisoners.
YENKI: Bishop Dreher, 19 Bavarian Benedictines and 13 Swiss Sisters are held in captivity. FUSHUN: The Chinese priest, Fr. Maure Pai, was killed by three revolver shots.
JEHOL: Two Belgian Scheut Fathers died in prison as a result of maltreatment: Fr. Constantine Dom in 'September, 1947 and Fr. Oscar Conard in December, 1947.
In November, 1947, seven Christians—four men and three women —were dragged to death behind mules. On January 8, 1948, Fr. Peter Chang, a Chinese Scheut Father, was killed at Meiling-Tze after having suffered the breaking of both his legs. At Chaochung a servant of the mission was tortured by the application of hot irons to his lips and breast.
CHIFENG: On October 2, 1947, three priests, six unmarried girls and four other Christians, all Chinese, were dragged along the ground. One, Fr. Paul Chen, died. One of the Sisters whose body was pierced with a red hot iron has most likely not survived. One who suffered two broken ribs was saved and is now in a safe place. There is no further Information about the other victims. LINTUNG: Fr. Paul Ho, Chinese secular priest was shot October I, 1947. Fr. Joseph Tchang, a Chinese secular priest, and four Christians were dragged along the ground and finally shot to death near Koang-koa-fang.
SIWANTZE: October, 1947, three Chinese priests, Frs. Joseph Chin, Anthony iisiu and Paul Yao were bayoneted. This mission also lost Fr. Benedict In, a Chinesse priest, who was killed in October, 1946.
NINGSIA: Fr. Joseph Feerart, Belgian Scheut Father was killed in his residence in Yuling.
YENAN: A Chinese priest, Fr. Louiss Lyang was killed at Shanhokow after he had appeared four times before a "People's Court."
KIANGCHOW: On October 20, 1947, Fr. Leonide Bruns, Dutch Franciscan, killed by clubs and bayoneted during a "Peoples Trial." A report not yet confirmed states that the Prefect Apostolic, Mgr. Quintin Pessers, Dutch Franciscan, and ten Christians were stoned and decapitated.
SHOHCHOW: The last priest to remain in the diocese was imprisoned December 2, 1947.
PEKIN: Driven from their dioceses five bishops and three hundred missionary priests find refuge in Pekin.
Seventy-five Trappists, foreign and Chinese. of the Trappe of You K'ia Ping were subjected to all kinds of cruelty since August. 1947. Twenty haw died as a result of mistreatment, five had their heads crushed between stones, seven were
condemned to forced labour and one, a Frenchnzan, who is still a prisoner, had his foot cut off by his jailers.
On February 18, 1948, two Chinese Vincentians were shot at Paoti about fifty miles east of Pekin.
SHUNTEH: Bishop Krause and all of his missionaries, Polish Vincentians were expelled. The only priest remaining in the diocese,a Chinese priest, Fr. K'iao is a prisoner.
SIE.NHSIEN: Eighty-four missionaries—Jesuits, Chinese priests, Chinese and foreign Sisters—are still prisoners.
YUNGPING: Early in February, 1948, two young men were suspended from a tree by their arms, One died. The Catholic leader of a village was killed. The charges brought against these was plainly their Catholicism.
SHANTUNG CHER/0: Two priests and twenty Christians killed.
LINTSING: Fr. Tchen, a Chinese priest, killed with hatchet and hammer; on November 1, another Chinese secular priest, Fr. Ls'', was decapitated. Three Chinese Sisters are prisoners.
SUCHOW: January 1, 1947, two Franciscan missionaries, the German priest, Fr. Augustine Holzum and the Danish Brother, Brother Benedict Jensen, previously expelled from Lintung (Shantung) were killed.
-ln each of these cases the reason for the persecution was either, by admission or by the evidence, the religion of the persons concerned. Details of what has happened to the Christians in the " liberated" areas, those parts fully controlled by the Communists, is, says Fides, extremely difficult to obtain.