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Authorities seek to disqualify Chinese priest

SHAN XI (UCAN): Chinese religious affairs officials have recommended that a priest be disqualified for leading a pilgrimage.
 
Observers said it was believed to be the first such case under new religious regulations that came into effect nationwide on February 1.
 
The Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs maintained that the priest acted in contradiction of religious Sinicization that aims to supplant outside influences with Chinese cultural and social norms.
 

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Statue of saint taken down in Hebei

HONG KONG (UCAN): A statue St. John Wu Wenyin, a martyr, was removed from a Catholic church in Hebei province as Chinese authorities continued their clampdown on religious freedom.
 
The statue of St. John Wu Wenyin was unveiled at Dongertou Catholic Church, Yongnian parish, Handan Diocese, on May 3, but a source said that authorities asked the church to remove it after the ceremony “stirring up a commotion on the internet.”
 

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Fears grow of a clampdown in Henan

HONG KONG (UCAN): Christians in China’s central Henan province were banned from displaying religious couplets over the Chinese New Year.
 
Government officials visited villages and towns to deliver notices ordering people not to follow a practice that has become a tradition during the festival.
 
Local Catholics expressed concerns that a new round of religious oppression is being aimed at the province.
 

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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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