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Catholic priest vanishes during driving test

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Church members peer through the
sealed gates of a place used for
prayer meetings, which government
personnel demolished.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.

(Baoding, Hebei—May 4, 2016) A Catholic priest from China’s northern Hebei province disappeared on April 15 during a driving test.

Yang Jianwei, a priest from a rural, predominately Catholic village in the city of Baoding, lost contact with his family and friends at 12:00 p.m. on April 15, shortly after he entered an examination room to take a driving test.

His relatives repeatedly called him, but his cell phone had been turned off. Members of his church, who accompanied him to the driving test, searched the facility but could not find him. When they asked to view surveillance footage, the staff refused to produce it, claiming they would only do so if they received the consent of the local public security bureau.

That afternoon, Yang’s family arrived and called the police; however, the local police station said they lacked sufficient manpower to investigate the case and promised to review the security footage with the family members once they had enough men.

The government began persecuting Catholics in the village on May 22, 2015, when authorities dispatched 500 officials to destroy part of a venue used for prayer meetings. During the demolition, two church members were detained, and one woman suffered injuries. Officially, government personnel claimed that the church members “gathered illegally” when they met to perform mass.

China Aid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by Yang Jianwei and the congregation of his church, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985

"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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