Prayers for Fr Wang Zhong

Fr Wang Zhong, from the diocese of Xiwanze (Hebei), was sentenced to three years in prison for organising the celebrations of the consecration of a church in Guyuan.

The story is quite fascinating. He was arrested and kept in isolation with no visiting rights (I wonder how many days they are allowed to do that?) He was charged with organising an unlawful meeting (the consecration of the Church) despite having had a permit for the Church to be built. The permit was produced as evidence as was his parish seal which was made with the permission of the civil affairs bureau.

Prosecution evidence was given by a policeman who said that the consecration caused travel problems (7000 people attended). However, the Church is in an isolated area, far from the main road, and has a large car park.

The trial was interrupted while the judge consulted the political commissar and representatives of the United Front and the Religious Affairs Bureau. It seems that they could not conclude what would be the just decision so he went higher. That obviously did the trick because the judge was now cofident enough of the truth and justice of the matter that he only needed 10 minutes to finish the trial, sentencing Fr Wang Zhong to 3 years in prison.

Source: Asia News: Chinese priest sentenced to three years for inaugurating a state-sanctioned church

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