.- According to the missionary association, AsiaNews, a Catholic priest who has been under house arrest by the Chinese government for the past six years has been released. According to reports, the Rev. Vincent Kong Guocun, 34, a priest with the non-government controlled Catholic Church was freed on June 8th due to poor health.
Fr. Kong, from the town of Wenzhou, on China’s southeast coast was put under house arrest on October 20th, 1999 for his adherence to the Vatican.
The Chinese government severed ties with the Vatican in 1951 following the establishment of an atheistic communist government. Worship in China is now only allowed in government approved churches although the a strong Catholic underground exists there.
Millions belong to these unofficial churches, many of which are frequently harassed by Chinese authorities, and their priests and bishops often arrested.