German ambassador to China calls for release of bishop

BEIJING (AP) — Germany's ambassador to China has called on authorities to end the confinement of a Catholic bishop, seen as evidence of the suppression of the church within the officially atheistic country.

Ambassador Michael Clauss says Bishop Shao Zhumin appears to be confined at home after having been forced to move to unknown locations four times in less than a year.

Clauss said in the statement posted to the German Embassy's website Tuesday that Shao's "full freedom of movement should be restored."

Clauss also said he is concerned about proposed amendments to a regulation on religious affairs that activists say may be used to tighten restrictions.

Shao is bishop in the southeastern city of Wenzhou, but was not recognized by the Chinese authorities. China and the Vatican have no official relations.