The Christian news agency has claimed that Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping.
According to the Asia News report
, after Mao Zedong took power, the late Bishop was sent to a concentration camp where he would be imprisoned for 27 years (1953-1980) "for refusing to participate in the 'independent and autonomous' Church, as Mao Zedong wanted."
He was secretly appointed Bishop of Siping in 1982, but his underground ordination could only happen in 1986. According to recent statistics provided by Asia News, his Diocese includes some 30,000 Catholics, two-thirds of which belong to the underground Church. It has 20 priests and more than 100 nuns.