China Aid Association
Catholic Nuns in Xian Brutally Beaten. Pray for Them
RETURN OUR CHURCH’S PROPERTIES AND DEFEND THE DIGNITY OF THE NUNS
The land dispute reported a year ago between Xian Cathedral and Wuxing Neighborhood Elementary School and its development are currently in negotiation and has entered a legal process. However, at about 6 p.m. on November 22, 2005, more than thirty young men wearing the same uniform and carrying batons, entered the site (see photo). After 8 p.m. in the evening, a big bulldozer began the demolition. We went forward and told them: the issue has now entered the legal process. Please don’t destroy the site. However, these dozens of young men, wielding the batons, wouldn’t let us contact the people relevant to the issue.
Afterwards, the followers of the church arrived at the scene after they heard the news. Everybody was excited
To prevent the situation from getting worse, Bishop Dang, Director Yang of the Franciscan Sacred Heart Missionaries and General Secretary Li Boyi exchanged their views and told the workers not to demolish it anymore. In the meantime, they also reminded the workers that construction at night would affect the rest of the nearby residents. In addition to this, they also reminded the workers that there were electric wires going into the cathedral on the wall and other issues. The construction side promised they would not demolish the east side of the wall so that the wires would not be affected. After that, the fellow Christians went back home on our admonitions. This fully proves our sincerity.
However, the whole building was demolished during the night of the 22nd. The demarcation wall between the two properties (private wall of the church) was demolished and the wires were cut. The otherwise normal religious life and the daily life of the people in the church were seriously disrupted. It is already three days and there’s still no electricity in the compound. There’s no way to cook the food for the dozens of people inside. As the normal religious life in the church is seriously affected, the members of the church are very upset!
On the morning of the 23rd, we reported this situation to the relevant authorities in the municipal agencies in charge of religious affairs. These leaders also took the issue seriously. After we came back, we advised everybody that we should trust the government and must keep calm.
On the night of the 23rd, with the demarcation wall demolished and several dozens of young men wielding the batons and threatening the life of all the people inside the church, the nuns were afraid something unexpected would happen again. So, they loitered on the east side of the wall and watched just in case these people break into the compound again. Some young men came and because of foul language they were using, the two sides got into an altercation which turned into a physical conflict. Since there was no light on the other side of the wall, over 40 baton-wielding young men with white towels wrapped on their wrists began to surround the nuns and beat them. Moreover, someone was there to direct whom to beat. When the nuns asked them where they come from, they said they were from the Bureau of Education. These men were aggressive and ferocious and their behavior was frenzied. Those nuns who tried to prevent the beating were dragged to one side where they were brutally beaten. One person even threatened: “Beat them to death!” Thus, the situation kept worsening. The more people came to prevent the fight, the more people got injured. Besides, several young men broke in through the gate of the church and hit the nuns on the back with punches and kicks. When police officers arrived after receiving 110 calls, this bunch of bullies went away toward the west with their batons. The police demanded that the construction stop immediately, but the demolition work went on.
After they heard the new, Director Wang and Director Bei from the Municipal Bureau of Religion arrived at the scene as soon as possible and held an emergency meeting attended by various departments relevant to the issue. It was only after the meeting that the demolition stopped.
At this time, as many as 16 nuns were injured. Among these, five of them have been hospitalized due to hemorrhage in the fundus of the eye, compressive bone fracture in the lumbar vertebra, bone fracture of the elbow and head injury and other causes. Ten of the nuns are bed-ridden because of injuries in the hands, feet, legs and back.
Dong Jianian. Age 41. Bone fracture in the lumbar vertebra and hand injury. Currently hospitalized in Spinal Cord Surgery Department of Red Cross Hospital of Shaanxi.
Cheng Jing. Age 34. External injury in eye hemorrhage. Currently hospitalized on the 2nd Floor of Ophthalmology Department of Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital.
Yue Xiuying. Age 31. External head injury. Contusion of soft tissues at various parts of the body. Currently hospitalized in Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital.
Zan Hongfang. Age 34. Injuries in the head and face. Contusion of soft tissues at various parts of the body and bone fracture in the left elbow. Currently hospitalized in Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital.
Zhang Xueling. Age 45. Hand injury.
Ren Aiying. Age 45. Injury in the left wrist.
He Jingru. Age 38. Contusion in the right thigh.
Fan Xiujuan. Age 32. Injury in the left hand.
Jia Shuiyang. Age 50. Injuries in the right thigh, right elbow and left hand.
Li Zhuanxia. Age 33. Injuries in the left upper arm and left shank.
Li Min. Age 31. Injury in the left arm.
Li Zhenzhu. Age 45. Injury in the right foot.
Li Jiaoye. Age 32. Injury in the right wrist.
Wang Zhen’ai. Age 42. Contusion of soft tissues in various parts of the body.
Yang Conghui. Age 50. Injury in the chest.
Zhao Shengyan. Age 40. Injury in the right elbow.
(Midland, Texas—Nov 30, 2005)CAA learned, on November 22, a Catholic church was bulldozed in Xi’an city, Shanxi Province. Sixteen nuns were injured and/or hospitalized.
According to reliable sources, at 6pm on November 22, approximately 30 uniformed young men rushed into the church armed with wooden sticks. At 8pm, a bulldozer started tearing down the Catholic church. After some goverment officials from the religious affairs bureau came to the site, the destruction was halted for the day. Then the evening of November 23, the destruction resumed. Forty uniformed young men armed with sticks started beating the nuns who were defending the church building. Sixteen nuns suffered eye injuries and/or broken legs. Some are still hospitalized.
Please pray for these nuns and call the Xian City government to urge them to fully investigate the event.
Issued by CAA on November 30, 2005
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]