Monk arrested in slayings of priest, nun in China

2010-07-09 07:49

A Catholic monk has confessed to killing a priest and a nun whose

bodies were found at the hospice in northern China where they worked, state

media have said.

The Xinhua News Agency report gave no details about the motive

behind the stabbing deaths of priest Zhang Shulai and nun Wei Yanhui, both

members of China’s unauthorised church. A report by AsiaNews, a missionary news

agency close to the Vatican, said their bodies were found in a pool of blood

after they failed to show up for morning Mass on Tuesday.

Monk Zhang Wenping (43), was arrested yesterday in Hohhot, capital

of the Inner Mongolia region, the report said, citing a police spokesperson in

Wuhai city where the hospice is located. The report did not elaborate on the

alleged confession.

China’s Communist government allows worship only in state-approved

churches, but many Catholics belong to unregistered congregations. Such “house

churches” are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities.

Christians worshipping in China’s independent churches are believed

to number upward of 60 million, compared with about 20 million people who

worship in the state church, according to numbers provided by scholars and

church activists.

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