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Modern-day popes braving the lion’s den

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Before he became Pope Francis, Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio had a reputation for disliking interviews.

Aboard his first papal flight to Brazil for World Youth Day in July 2013, he told more than 70 journalists from around the world, “Really, I don’t give interviews. But I don’t know why. I can’t, that’s just how it is. I find it a bit tiresome, but I’m grateful for your company.” 

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Christmas refugees and fair trade


Christmas is much more than Santa Claus and consumerism. It is about compassion, love for the poor and seeking justice. Jesus was sent to help change the world. We must carry on this mission but we also have to understand what that challenge is.

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Nuanced numerical adjustment to One Child Policy

HONG KONG (SE): Although hailed as the end of the infamous One Child Policy, the announcement made by Beijing on December 27 that from now on all couples will be allowed to have two children, only constitutes a nuanced numerical adjustment to the old policy, rather than signalling its demise.

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In the footsteps of early missionaries

HONG KONG (SE): In the manner in which St. Columban proclaimed himself an exile for Christ when he left his native Ireland for Europe over 1,400 years ago, a group of Chinese priests, sisters and lay people from Wuhan carried a banner reading, Exiles for Christ, as they travelled in pilgrimage along the Han River from Hanyang between November 11 and 14 in the footsteps of the Columban missionaries of the 1920s.

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Little text big meaning

NEW YORK (CNS): Despite its brevity, In Our Time (Nostra Aetate), or the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council marks a starting point for dialogue among Christians, Muslims and Jews that must be continued into the future.

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Survey shows Church-state relations smell rosy but hint not all is well

HONG KONG (SE): The Renmin University in Beijing released the results of what it describes as a multi-year survey on the religious environment in China today in July this year.

ChinaSource reported on August 25 that while the survey results received wide publicity both inside and outside China, the bulk of them highlighted the growing popularity of religion, especially among young people, as well as the growth in Islam.

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China and the cross

Since 2014, an official campaign carrying out the demolition of crosses on Christian churches has been conducted, primarily in Zhejiang province.

Chinese authorities do not like to see crosses dotting the skyline of their country: the cross is a religious, Christian symbol which they see as contradictory to their atheistic ideology.   

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Hiroshima and Nagasaki hold
lessons for war and peace

 NIIGATA (SE): The remembrance of the dropping of the two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 should have as much to teach us about times of peace as times of war.

On August 5, the evening prior to the anniversary of the first atomic attack, the Peace Cathedral in Hiroshima played host to what Bishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi described as one of the most significant prayer vigils for peace he has ever witnessed.