Battered Xi’an Nuns


At least five Catholic nuns resisting a government plan to sell land claimed by their church to a real estate developer are hospitalized in the Chinese city of Xian after thugs armed with sticks and clubs assaulted them, a witness and others familiar with the incident said Thursday.

One of the nuns, identified as Cheng Jing, 34, was blinded in the attack and has recovered the use of only one eye, and another nun was scheduled for surgery on her spine, according to people who have visited them. A third was recovering with a broken arm, and two others incurred serious head injuries.

The attack occurred on the night of Nov. 23 on a parcel of disputed land in downtown Xian adjacent to the city’s main state-sanctioned Catholic church, the Southern Cathedral. About 30 to 40 nuns were trying to stop workers from demolishing an elementary school there when the thugs began beating them, injuring at least 16, the sources said.

Any excuses? Any justifications?

Update: The Vatican is pissed.

The Discussion: 16 Comments

Where did you get this news story? I haven’t seen it yet in the US media.

December 4, 2005 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

It’s from the Washington Post. Sam mentioned it in the last open thread.

December 4, 2005 @ 9:52 pm | Comment

The Washington post has a poor credibility even within US audiences, it has seen many scandals in the past. There’s a famous American phrase within the journalism community that “Washington Post is a poor newspaper.”

December 4, 2005 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

That’s complete crap, HX. The WAPO may show its biases, and have the normal errors, but it’s surpassed the New York Times in quality, and NOWHERE in the “journalism community” is it known as a poor newspaper. Do you just make this stuff up out of thin air?

December 4, 2005 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

HX, are you trying to be a clown? Thanks for giving us something to laugh about.

Another update to the story: The Church is fearing more atacks, and the wall of silence is descending as web sites start removing stories about the incident.

December 4, 2005 @ 10:51 pm | Comment

Let’s also not forget that there are many thousands of peasants who were illegally stolen of their land, and many of them were involved in physical conflict and probably injured.

This is perhaps more about corruption than religious freedom.

I hope Vatican and the West will pay half as much attention to the poor peasants.

December 5, 2005 @ 12:48 am | Comment

Wow, HX is in spam mode today ๐Ÿ™‚

HX, you should try to get some practice at inventing “famous american phrases” that, well, sound real.

December 5, 2005 @ 4:53 am | Comment

I think Sunbin is right that this story is more about greedy land developers than about religious persecution. The Catholic church involved was legal. Our media do, of course, carry stories about peasants cheated out of land when those stories are made known to the outside world. The real question is, “Is this story being told in the Chinese press?” Only the Chinese can solve the problem of speculators stealing land in China.

December 5, 2005 @ 5:32 am | Comment

nun abuse

Via TPD, something that is reminiscent of El Salvador in the 1980s. Wapo reports that thugs in Xian have managed to combine China’s abuse of Christians with China’s abuse of property rights protesters: At least five Catholic nuns resisting

December 5, 2005 @ 7:27 am | Comment

If Beijing wants the Vatican to recognise the PRC and not the ROC, it had better start ensuring Catholics are treated better. The Pontiff won’t change foreign policy on the vague promises of the CCP if it sees this kind of thing happening.

December 5, 2005 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

“If Beijing wants the Vatican to recognise the PRC and not the ROC,”

i tend to think the vatican needs PRC to recognize it more than the other way round. but you can disagree.

December 5, 2005 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

Doesn’t matter who needs who more. CCP control freaks must handpick patriotic puppets to lead officially recognized religious organizations. The Vatican is not going to ordain priests chosen by a bunch of atheists who know nothing about Church teachings.

December 5, 2005 @ 4:33 pm | Comment

“The Vatican is not going to ordain priests chosen by a bunch of atheists who know nothing about Church teachings.”

Actually, Vatican could be a good partner for CCP. They just share so many things. Vatican burned 20,000 people live, co-operated with Nazi, futilely fought with science, discriminate against woman, discriminated against gay… On second thought, I think CCP is actually better.

December 5, 2005 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

Agree with Steve.
The issue here has more to do with corruption and abuse of power than persecution of religion.

December 6, 2005 @ 12:22 am | Comment

Totally agree. This is not a story about religion, but it could end up having religious implications.

December 6, 2005 @ 12:46 am | Comment

Maybe that’s why the CCP doesn’t like religion. It wants exclusive rights to oppress people.

December 6, 2005 @ 5:46 am | Comment

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