Catholic sources in Hebei say that on the morning of November 2, two priests from the unofficial community of Baoding and more than a dozen seminarians and nuns from the same community were forcibly taken away by government officials. After a few hours, two seminarians were released.
On the same day, Fr Lu Genjun, former vicar general of Baoding, was taken away. Until now, no one knows where they are being held.
A priest from the underground community of Baoding, commenting on the incident, pointed out that the abduction took place shortly after the renewal of the provisional agreement between China and the Vatican. He asked all Catholics to pray for the kidnapped and for full religious freedom in China.
The diocese of Baoding, with over 500,000 faithful, is one of the cornerstones of the unofficial community. Its bishop, Msgr Giacomo Su Zhimin, has been missing in police custody since 1997 and nothing is known about his fate since then.
His coadjutor bishop Francesco An Shuxin, after a long period of imprisonment, decided to enter the official church.