CHURCH MEMBERS DETAINED IN CHINA
Thu Aug 3, 9:26 PM ET
BEIJING - Police scuffled with members of an underground Catholic
church in northern China who were protesting the detention of two clergymen,
seriously injuring at least two people, a U.S.
group said Thursday.
About 90 protesters were
taken away after the demonstration Wednesday in Zhangjiakou, a city in the northern
province of Hebei, the Cardinal Kung Foundation,
a U.S.-based religious monitoring group, said in a statement.
The group did not give details
of the protest, but said 70 people were later released while 20 were still being held.
Two men were "seriously
injured" in the scuffle while a woman suffered a miscarriage, the group said.
The protesters sought the
immediate release of 82-year-old bishop Yao Liang, who was detained on July 30 in Xiwanzi. He was being held in Zhangjiakou, the foundation said.
The group was also protesting
the detention of Li Huisheng, a priest from Xiwanzi, the statement said. Li's whereabouts were unknown, the group said.
A man who answered the phone
at the Zhangjiakou public security bureau said he was "not clear" about the demonstration or
the detention of Yao and Li. He refused to give his name.
Yao was previously
detained in Xiwanzi on March 31, 2005, after refusing to join the state-sanctioned China Patriotic Catholic Association.
China permits worship only in such official churches. Millions more Catholics worship in unauthorized "house churches."
The government frequently harasses and arrests followers and clergy of the underground church.