Eight nuns have reportedly been forced to leave their convent in northern China due to government pressure.
The whereabouts of the nuns has not yet been reported, but one of them told Bitter Winter that officials declared them “dangerous persons” and “repeatedly harassed” them.
“They asked us to write down what we had done since kindergartens and demanded to disclose everything we did over the past few months,” the nun told the Italian magazine which focuses on human rights in China.
“They even wanted us to remember the license plates of the vehicles we used during our trips.”
CNA reports that the nuns have been under government surveillance since they refused to join the government-backed Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. They had also previously lived abroad.
The government had installed four surveillance cameras in the convent and officials continually monitored the nuns.
“Three persons, a police officer and two local officials, were assigned to keep watch over us,” the nun said.
“They checked my storehouse, scrutinized all records, and even looked at paper sheets on the floor, to see if they have prohibited content,” said the manager of the printing house, located in Luoyang. “If any such content is found, I’ll be fined, or worse, my business will be closed.”
The reports come a couple of weeks after the Holy See and China formally extended their provisional deal on the appointment of bishops. The deal allows China’s Communist government some say over the choice of bishops for Chinese dioceses.
Sceptics have said the accord cedes too much control of internal Church affairs to the Communists. One prominent critic is Cardinal Joseph Zen, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, who said the deal could turn China’s people against the Church. “Tomorrow when people will gather to plan the new China, the Catholic Church may not be welcome,” he said.