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Top religious affairs official promoted in new structure

HONG KONG (UCAN): The long-standing director of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), Wang Zuo’an, has been formally transferred to the United Front Work Department (UFWD), as the religious affairs bureau is officially absorbed into the latter office.
 
While Wang will be promoted to deputy director of the UFWD, he will his retain his SARA title to prevent confusion in dealings with other nations on religious matters.
 

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China publishes list of religious institutes

BEIJING (SE): Since 2014, the State Administration for Religious Affairs has been in the process of building an online database on religions in China on its website.

Since the end of 2015, all sites for religious activities, including Buddhist and Daoist temples that have been registered with the state, have been listed on its website.

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Public airing of China’s view

ROME (AsiaNews): Coming from 31 provinces and autonomous regions of China, 365 representatives attended the Ninth Congress of Catholic Representatives at the Tian Tai Beijing Hotel from December 27 to 29.

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Official Church facing authenticity crisis

HONG KONG (UCAN): St. Joseph’s Church in Beijing towers over busy Wangfujing Street, not far from Tiananmen Square. 

On an uncharacteristically humid afternoon in July this year, the courtyard is abandoned, save for three men sleeping on benches.

The church doors are shuttered, but not locked. Outside the main gate, another four homeless people take refuge from the pounding sun and suffocatingly humid air. But inside, there’s not a soul.

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Simple measure has insidious side

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): On February 13, the Global Times reported that China is launching a massive campaign to check and register the identities of all religious workers.

It is proposing a certificate showing the religious name, secular name, national ID card number and a unique number assigned to every individual religious minister.

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Old tunes no new ideas

HONG KONG (UCAN): A five-day workshop for clergy and Church personnel organised in Beijing by the State Administration for Religious Affairs from June 20 to 24 received a mixed response from those who had been told to turn up.

Several people who were at the command performance reported that in many ways it was a rehash of the same old stuff they have been hearing for years.

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China wants revamp of religious affairs body

HONG KONG (UCAN): The anti-corruption watchdog of the Chinese Communist Party released a critical report on the State Administration for Religious Affairs accusing its leadership of being weak and failing to pay adequate attention to the activities of national religious groups.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which is tasked with enforcing internal rules and regulations, as well as combating corruption in the Communist Party, delivered its inspection report to the administration on June 6.

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Government plans for Church rubber stamped

HONG KONG (SE): The two government bodies that hold official authority within the Catholic Church in China, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China, readily rubber stamped plans presented by the government for the coming year.

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Pushing more Church people underground

BEIJING (UCAN): The Communist Party of China has begun carrying out its threat to assign certificates detailing the secular name, religious name and national ID card number to Buddhist monks across the country; but with one new twist—a unique faith number is also being added.

By the end of this year, authorities will require the same of both Catholic and Taoist priests, state-run broadcaster CCTV and the party-friendly tabloid, Global Times, reported in early February.

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ID cards could be an issue for priests in China

HONG KONG (UCAN): The State Administration for Religious Affairs in Beijing made identification papers (ID cards) for the registration of Buddhist monks compulsory during 2015 and is planning to do the same for both Taoist and Catholic priests during the coming year.

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