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Bishop of Mindong detained again

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of the unofficial Church in Mindong, Fujian province, was taken from his home on March 26, according to AsiaNews
The 59-year-old bishop received a call from the local Administration for Religious Affairs on March 26 asking to meet at his office. 
 
After least two hours of talks, the bishop returned to his home at 7.00pm where packed his bags before being taken away at 10.00pm.
 
The priest who is the bishop’s secretary was also taken away.

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China tightens grip on religion with bureaucratic overhaul

Hong Kong (UCAN): China’s Communist Party has further stepped up control over all religions, dissolving its long-standing State Administration for Religious Affairs bureau and handing its functions over to the feared United Front Work Department.
 

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Christmas may be huge in China but what’s in it for religion?

BEIJING (SE): “Santa Claus was descending into China from the sky. Due to the heavy smog, he fell to the ground, but no one dared help him up. While he was still lying in the snow, his bag was ransacked for the Christmas goodies and his reindeer and sleigh taken away by the Chengguan (City Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau). Therefore, there will be no Christmas this year!”
 

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Tough times today may herald tougher times to come

HONG KONG (UCAN): China convened its 19th National Congress of the Communist Party on October 18.
 
Regarded as a major high profile gathering every five years, this time round it is expected that the president, Xi Jinping, will be endorsed for a second term in the top job of the Communist Party.
 
But this may not be welcome news for religious minorities on the mainland, as to say it has been a tough year for them would be a gross understatement.
 

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Communist Party reiterates ban on religious belief

BEIJING (SE): A series of articles published in the Global Times during July is reiterating the perpetual warning to members of the Communist Party that religious belief is blacklisted, as it poses a danger to the purity of Marxist atheism and can derail party direction and functionality.
 
“Party members should not have religious beliefs, but follow atheist Marxism; otherwise, they will be punished,” Wang Zuo’an, the director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, was quoted as saying by the Global Times.

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The crime of singing in Church

BEIJING (SE): A Taiwanese pastor was detained for singing the worship song Jesus Loves You in Zhengzhou, Henan, in China, which officials have branded as an illegal religious activity.
 
China Aid, which reports on persecution and human rights abuses in the world’s most populous nation, said Pastor Xu Rongzhang, from Taiwan, was detained at Easter, because he led a group of Christians in Zhengzhou in singing the song.
 
Xu was released later the same day, the Christian Post website reported.

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Dicey time for religion in China

HONG KONG (SE): “Everybody is out there… trying to reify that part of life which is not filled by bread alone, by commerce alone,” Orville Schell, the director of the Asia Society Centre on relations between the United States of America and China, said during a panel discussion on religion in China held at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University on May 1.
 

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Spy cameras going into churches

BEIJING (UCAN): China has tightened the squeeze on Christians by forcing Catholic and Protestant Churches in the heavily Christian province of Zhejiang to install CCTV cameras both in and outside their buildings.

The government wants the unofficial and the official Catholic communities in Zhejiang to install surveillance cameras in their parish compounds by the end of March.

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Muslims support blasphemy case against fellow Muslim

JAKARTA (UCAN): Muslim human rights advocates in Jakarta, Indonesia, have joined growing calls to have hardline Muslim cleric, Rizieq Syihab, charged with blasphemy for insulting Christianity.

Rizieq is the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front and is being accused of mocking Christians during a sermon on Christmas Day in which he is reported to have said, “If God gave birth, then who would be the midwife?”

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