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The Galilee of China faces new era under Xi Jinping

Ying Fuk-tsang
 
From 2014 to 2016, the Chinese Communist Party conducted a systematic campaign of cross removals in Zhejiang province, the most populous Christian area of China in terms of the percentage of the population. The epicentre of Christianity there is the city of Wenzhou, known as the Jerusalem of the East.
 

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Nearly 50,000 baptisms in China

VATICAN (CNS): The Catholic Church in China registered 48,556 baptisms in 2017, according to a February 15 report by Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
 
The figures are likely incomplete, given the difficulty of procuring data from Catholic communities in the rural parts of China, report said.
 

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The Holy See, China and the question of sovereignty

by Michel Chambon
 
In the past few weeks, rumours have spread about a possible agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China. In an uncommon move, the Vatican has even asked two bishops from the unofficial Church to shift aside for two official bishops initially appointed by Beijing.
 

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Caution versus compassion impasse continues

HONG KONG (SE): Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former bishop of Hong Kong has not spared efforts and words to explain how Vatican officials do not understand the true nature of Chinese leaders and that their rush will harm the church in China. 
 
His recent meeting with the press at the Salesian Mission House, Shau Kei Wan, on February 9 highlighted that China does not respect religious freedom and worry that Pope Francis may involuntarily betray the underground side of the Catholic Church in China.
 

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Old timers hold up the Church in rural China

HONG KONG (UCAN): Every evening, no matter how busy or tired she may be, Yiu reads the bible at home to her seven-year-old granddaughter. Sometimes friends from her parish come and join her.
 
Yiu lives in Changzhi, a diocese with 80 churches and 37 prayer houses for its 60,000-strong Catholic population. Among them, only four are in cities, 18 are in suburban areas and the rest in rural zones.
 

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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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Approach Beijing with caution Vatican warned

OTTAWA (SE): “We should be under no illusion that as China engages more and more with the political, economic and social frameworks of the world, that that is having any impact on their human rights record,” the former ambassador for religious freedom from Canada, Andrew Bennett, said in warning the Catholic Church that in its negotiations with China it should have no illusions in approaching Beijing.

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Lent with an interreligious flavour

ZHENGZHOU (SE): Kuan Yan, a Buddhist monk, set out from China on a pilgrimage to India with the intention of expressing his great personal devotion to Mother Teresa of Kolkata.

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One of first secretly ordained bishops dies

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Casimir Wang Milu, from Tianshui in the northwest of China, suffered a stroke and later contracted pneumonia in hospital where he died on February 14 at the age of 74.

The bishop from the unofficial community of the Church was not recognised by the Chinese government. He had been hospitalised since early January, but his condition continued to deteriorate. His funeral took place on February 18.

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