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Religious leaders blocked from APEC surrounds

DA NANG (UCAN): People with an affiliation with unregistered Churches or religious groups were confined to their homes in Da Nang, Vietnam, for the duration of the gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting that took place from November 6 to 11.
 
Hua Phi, a leader of the Cao Dai indigenous faith, said he was ordered by five security officers on November 4 not to leave his home until the APEC summit hadconcluded.
 

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China expels Korean missionaries

SHENYANG (AsiaNews): Three provinces in northeastern China have expelled hundreds of South Korean religious personnel and closed down their Churches over the past 12 months.
The crackdown on religious activities came ahead of the new regulations on religious affairs that are slated to come into force on February 2 next year.
 

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Tough times for imams

HONG KONG (SE): Reports are emerging from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that imams who are not toeing the Communist Party line have been sent to political re-education camps, which have proliferated at a clipped pace over the past several months in the western area.
 

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Catholic blogger jailed in Vietnam

HANOI (UCAN): Mary Magdelene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a Catholic blogger known as Mother Mushroom, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the People’s Court of Khanh Hoa province in Nha Trang City on June 29.
 
The roads leading up to the court were blocked while police lined the streets.
 
Nguyen, a co-founder of a network of bloggers, was found guilty of “conducting propaganda against the Communist government” under Article 88 of the Criminal Law. She was arrested on 10 October 2016.

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Old Qur’ans confiscated in Xinjiang

HONG KONG (UCAN): Government officials in the Xinjiang region of China are confiscating all copies of the Qur’an that were published more than five years ago for fear that they may contain extremist content.
 
The move is being described as part of an ongoing campaign against illegal religious items in the possession of the majority Muslim Uyghur people.
 

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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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Unregistered religion under the hammer

HONG KONG (SE): Government interference in religion is growing in China, with authorities suppressing Islam and denigrating Christian teachings as a foreign import, a report released by Freedom House on February 28 maintains.

Radio Free Asia quoted the report as saying that to the detriment of Christianity and Islam, Beijing is promoting Chinese Buddhism and Taoism, as it sees them as being more supportive of traditional notions of loyalty to the state.

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Shutdown on unofficial Churches in Xinjiang

HONG KONG (SE): Authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang in China have banned all Christian activities not linked to state-approved Churches, launching a region-wide crackdown on worship centres of unofficial communities under the guise of instituting anti-terrorism precautions.

Radio Free Asia reported on February 28 that unofficial Catholic communities and Protestant House Churches have been put on notice and commanded to halt all activity throughout the region.

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Release of new religious regulations expected soon

HONG KONG (UCAN): Wang Zuo’an, the director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, has disclosed that the newly amended regulations on religion will be released in the near future and part of the deal is that the his office plans to pay great attention to their enforcement.

The national meeting for religious directors across China was held in Beijing from January 9 to 10, during which the Wang delivered his remarks while setting out his plan for the year ahead.

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Carollers beaten up

BANSWARA (AsiaNews): A group from Ss. Peter and Paul parish in the village of Tikariya, near the city of Banswara in India, was savagely beaten and accused of carrying out forced conversions  as a result of carol singing sessions held in private homes on December 14.

Father Stephen Rawat said, “I have no enemies, I was beaten because of my Christian faith.”

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