Some members of the underground Catholic clergy in China believe that the Vatican-China agreement has exacerbated the persecution of underground Catholics, and they see no hope for their churches to survive.
Catholicism in China
Refusing to join the government-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, some priests in Hebei have been forced to leave their churches and now organize secret “guerrilla-like” congregation gatherings.
An internal document from one of the municipalities in this northern province reveals a score-based motivational system for government and Communist Party personnel involved in the crackdown on churches. Top scores are given for the extinction of underground Catholics.
A Catholic and resident of Tianjin, the soldier spent a month in solitary confinement. Later, he was disqualified from serving in the army.
Churches that had been demolished due to their dilapidated state cannot be rebuilt now due to ongoing religious persecution in China.
Across China, government-approved and underground Catholic churches are being shut down arbitrarily and believers arrested.
Chinese academics claim that the Vatican-China Agreement follows the “Vietnamese model.” However, they misinterpret it.
In Fujian, authorities have been shutting down churches and forcing Catholics to go underground.
Travels abroad for priests in China are restricted, and their movements are monitored via cellphones and surveillance cameras.
Bitter Winter accessed a video that shows the destruction of an altar of a Catholic church in Fujian’s Fuzhou city.