Three Catholic priests in China who refused to join the state-sanctioned church, known as the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, were arrested by eight police officers.
The arrest was carried out last Tuesday. The priests are currently held at an undisclosed location. The names of the three priests are: Liang Aijun, 35, Wang Zhong, 41, and Gao Jinbao, 34. They all came from Hebei province, reported the Cardinal Kung Foundation in a press release.
In addition, a fourth priest was also detained by police earlier this month at an undisclosed location.
Pope Benedict XVI, in a letter written in June, made a plea to the world to be awakened to the persecution being carried out by the Chinese government on the Roman Catholics due to their faith.
"While we need to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute usâ¦we also need to awaken the world to the ongoing persecution of the Roman Catholic Church in China," the Pope wrote in an open letter to the Chinese Catholics.
The Foundation has called on the government to halt the persecution of Chinese Catholics and release all of them from jail as a 'goodwill gesture' to the Pope.
"In the meantime, we urge the Chinese government to take steps immediately to stop all persecution throughout China and release all Roman Catholic bishops and clergy together with those faithful of other faith from prisons as a goodwill gesture to Pope Benedict and to restore the world confidence in its leadership," stated the Foundation.