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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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Religious persecution happens online

MANILA (UCAN): Despite the popular claim that The Philippines is a Catholic country, Archbishop Socrates Villegas insists that religious persecution is very much alive and well, even within the Church.

In a statement on November 14, the president of the bishops’ conference says, “Bashing in social media where truth is made to appear a lie and a lie the truth is another form of persecution.”

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Bishop Shao brought home

WENZHOU (AsiaNews): Reports from China say that police took Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who has been on forced holiday in the northern region of Qinghai, back to home to Wenzhou on October 8.

The reports say that the bishop and his police entourage arrived at 4.30pm. His secretary and diocesan chancellor, Father Paul Jiang Sunian, who has also been exposed to the country air, was with him.

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Petition for release of Wenzhou bishop

HONG KONG (UCAN): More than 22,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that China release Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who has been taken away from his diocese to one of the country’s more remote, albeit more picturesque provinces.

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Importance of separation of Church and state

LEUVEN (SE): “The frenzied part of the 20th century had nothing to do with religion,” Herman van Rompuy, a former president of the European Council, told a forum at the Verbiest Institute at the Leuven Catholic University in Belgium on September 6.

“Nationalism and ideology were responsible for wars, genocide and cruelty,” van Rompuy continued in explaining why the current formation of the European Union is so valuable.

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Organisers of Christian camp detained

HONG KONG (UCAN): Two women were arrested and detained for more than a week during August for organising a Christian summer camp for children in Yining county in the northwest of China.

Zhou Yanhua and Gao Ming, both members of Yining County Church, were charged by police with indoctrinating minors with superstitious beliefs, China Aid reported.

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Under mobile phone arrest

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who as the coadjutor to the late Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang, from Wenzhou, automatically takes his place as the local ordinary, is effectively being held by the authorities under mobile phone arrest.

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Hangzhou under lockdown for G20

HANGZHOU (SE): Rights advocates are calling on the leaders of the G20 nations not to ignore China’s human rights record during the G20 summit scheduled to take place in Hangzhou from September 4 to 5.

The Chinese Human Rights Defenders describe the current crackdown on human rights as being the most severe the country has seen in decades.

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Pakistan’s shame to be heard in Supreme Court

LAHORE (SE): A young Catholic woman, Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws in 2010, has had a date set for her appeal to be heard in the Supreme Court in mid-October.

The British Pakistani Christian Association reported that Bibi has been held in prison since June 2009 when blasphemy allegations were made against her. It added that she had been gang raped over the blasphemy accusations and her children targeted.

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