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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Bishop James Su Zhimin

 

Bishop James Su Zhimin was an unregistered Bishop in the city of Baoding in the Chinese province of Hebei.  In 1996, the bishop was arrested during a religious procession for conducting unregistered religious activities.  In November 2003, his family discovered him by chance at a hospital in Baoding, surrounded by police and public security.  He has not been heard or seen from since, despite repeated international inquiries.  In all, he has spent 40 years in prison, without charge, without trial.  Before being arrested in 1996, Bishop Su Zhimin was held off and on for 26 years either in prison or forced labor camps.  The Chinese government deemed him as "counterrevolutionary" because, since the 1950s, he has refused to join the Patriotic Association, the national Chinese Catholic Church which has detached themselves from the Pope’s authority. Attempts at identifying or memorializing him, or holding public events in his honor, have met with hostile police action.