Catholic communities in China's northeastern provinces are using social media to evangelize in the winter while still offering pastoral care directly to the elderly Catholics to fill the digital gap.
After claiming 2014 to be the worst year for religious persecution in China since the Cultural Revolution, observers say this year saw the situation deteriorate further.
A Hong Kong cardinal has appealed to Communist Party chiefs in Beijing to order a halt to an ongoing cross-removal campaign from Christian churches in Zhejiang province.
When Fr. Joseph Zhang Yinlin was ordained coadjutor bishop of Anyang Diocese, he became the first publicly ordained Chinese bishop in three years and the first since the Vatican and China restarted its dialogue in June 2014.
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, retired bishop of Hong Kong, protested at the Chinese Liaison Office in the city and asked the whereabouts of Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian, who was said to have died in detention.
Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian, 94, a member of the so-called underground Catholic church who has not been seen since his arrest in 2001, has died, a relative said.
Born in Hebei province, Shi was arrested April 13, 2001, Good Friday, at his niece's home in Beijing. He was held without charge in a secret location.
"We were informed by Baoding city government officials on Friday morning, but they did not say when he died exactly or the cause of his death," Shi Chunyan, the bishop's great-niece, told the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com on Saturday.
As he left the police station, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun asked people to pray for democracy in the city.
Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang of Shanghai, a prominent leader of China's underground Catholic Community, died after a brief illness Sunday at his home. He was 96.
Fan, like many other Catholic leaders, served in prison after he and other priests were arrested in 1955 during a government crackdown. From 1958 to 1978, Fan was imprisoned in Qinghai province, where his job was to carry corpses in a cemetery, reported the Asian church news portal ucanews.com.