Two Chinese Catholic bishops have been imprisoned in China for a total of 40 and 51 years each, and the country’s communist authorities appear to have thrown away the keys. Outside observers do not know whether they are dead or alive, and when asked about the men and their whereabouts, Party officials have simply said they don’t know.
Upon seizing power in 1949 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) vowed to eradicate religion and forcefully broke up congregations, smashed religious buildings, and either forced recantations from or imprisoned believers. The two men, Bishop James Su Zhimin and Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang, were victims of these early campaigns.
But rather than being left alone after the initial purge, both the men were persecuted repeatedly throughout their lives.