China plans to host in Chongli, notorious for its persecution of Catholicism, most of the skiing events. Another reason to stop the Olympics.
by Alfonse Sun
Recently, there has been increasing opposition against the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted by China, due to the CCP’s atrocious crimes committed against humanity. However, little is known about the genocide China committed against Catholicism in the Chahar Region, where the main skiing competitions will be held.
The Chahar Region includes the Xuanhua Diocese and Chongli-Xiwanzi Diocese. During Qing Dynasty times, for centuries, they were under the administration of Commander-in-chief of Chahar (Chahar Dutong). In 1914, during the Republic of China time, the area became the “Chahar Special Administrative Region,” and in 1928, the “Chahar Province.” They were part of the Japan-supported Mengjiang (Mongolia United Autonomous Government) from 1939 to 1945.
Catholic missionaries arrived in Xuanhua and Xiwanzi in 1688 and 1700. In 1723, the Manchu-Qing Emperor banned all Christian missions within China proper. Missionaries moved out of the Outer Great Wall of Kalgan (Zhangjiakou), and settled in Xiwanzi village. The ban was lifted in 1858, because of the Treaty of Tientsin. In more than one hundred years, Xiwanzi had been a haven for Catholic missionaries. For most of the regions within the Outer Great Wall there were only underground believers. During the Boxer’s Rebellion, the majority of believers were killed, only 5,000 took refuge in the Cathedral of Xiwanzi (in Chongli, which was later burnt in 1946 by Communists in the Chongli Massacre) and survived.
After World War II, during the Communist revolution, many Catholics joined the anti-Communist side. This made Communists see Catholicism as a main enemy. For example, Father Xu Muxin (徐木欣), of Nantun (南屯) Rosary Church in Xuanhua, stood against Chinese Communists’ pillaging. He established an anti-Communist resistance force in 1947. Chinese Communists burnt the Nantun Rosary Church consequently. Father Xing Yi (邢义) of Hutuodian (滹沱店) Church of Xuanhua fought against Chinese Communists with the “reactionary” landlords of Chahar. The Church was bombarded by the artillery of the Communists consequently.
In 1946, Chinese Communists attacked Xiwanzi village of Chongli county, tortured and killed nearly one thousand civilians in an extremely inhumane way, including killing small children less than ten years old. Communists recaptured Chongli in 1948, and ravaged and plundered it again. Chongli is one of the main locations China will use for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Chinese Communists tortured 33 Trappist monks of Our Lady of Consolation Trappist Abbey at Yangjiaping of Xuanhua to death in 1937, which was described by Paul Hattaway as “ranking among the worst atrocities ever committed against any groups of Christians.”
In September, 1951, Chinese Communists arrested the Bishop of Xiwanzi, Léon De Smedt, and other clergies in Kalgan. After two months he died because of the harsh treatment. Chinese Communists banned the Legion of Mary, as part of their “Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries.” In February 1952, Communists started expelling foreign clergy from Xiwanzi Diocese. By 1954, all 27 foreign missionaries had been expelled.
In August 1957, Communists established the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, using it to control the Catholic Church. Many Catholics who refused to join the Patriotic Association were persecuted at that time, for example, the then-Bishop of Xiwanzi, Leon Yao Liang, was sentenced in 1958 and spent 28 years in labor camps and prison.
During the Cultural Revolution, all religious activities including Catholicism were forced to stop, believers were persecuted, and the majority of churches were severely damaged or demolished.
1990s: Father Wang Jiansheng and Father Cui Tai detained and jailed for 3 years; Father Zhang Li arrested, sentenced and jailed.
August 2006: Father Li Huisheng arrested in Zhangbei county, beaten up badly and hospitalized, sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, and still serving his sentence.
Winter 2007: Father Wang Zhong arrested in Guyuan county, and jailed for three years. He has finished serving the sentence but under surveillance.
September 2007: Father Yu Zhongxun taken away for the second time, tortured. He was tied onto a basketball backboard for one night, stooped for more than 10 days, and burned by cigarettes butts all over his body, and forced to drink ‘chili water.’
July 2008: Father Zhang Jianlin arrested and detained for seven months, tortured and now under surveillance.
8 June 2009: Father Liu Jianzhong arrested, prevented to sleep for six days, and stood and physically tortured for 18 hours each day, detained for six months.
14 June 2009: Father Zhang Cunhui taken away by officials on his way to say Mass, forced to undergo study sessions for eight months.
30 May 2010 Trinity Sunday: Father Wang Jiancheng and Li De taken by officials on their way to say Mass. Father Li was released after 2 months’ detention, during which he was deprived of sleep and physically tortured. Father Wang was released after six months’ detention and is now under surveillance.
February 2011: Father Ren He of Xiwanzi diocese taken and detained when leading a retreat for laypeople at a Catholic’s home.
In 2006, nearly 100 members of the underground church of Zahngbei of Xiwanzi Diocese clashed with police, demanding the immediate release of Bishop Yao Liang and Father Li Huisheng, which resulted in 90 arrested, and a pregnant woman had a miscarriage.
For Bishop Augustine Cui Tai of Xuanhua, “Since his arrest in 2007, he has not been able to spend Easter in the diocese,” said UCA News, published by the Union of Catholic Asian News. “His latest January-June stay in the diocese ‘was the longest’ the bishop had enjoyed in the diocese in the past 13 years.” And even until now, he is still in custody.
China’s genocide and continuous persecution in Chahar, without any reparation or apology, is a crime against humanity. Let us be explicit: the 2022 Winter Olympics, if not canceled, will be a greater shame than the 1936 Berlin Olympics.