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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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A move to open the cage

SHANGHAI (AsiaNews): The caged bishop of Shanghai has made another move towards his rehabilitation with the release of an article about the great Jesuit missionary of 400 years ago, Father Matteo Ricci.

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Blocked from Youth Day

KRAKÓW (AsiaNews): A group of 50 young people headed to Poland for World Youth Day was taken off a plane at Beijing airport on July 25. The aircraft was reported to have been queuing for takeoff at the runway, when it was recalled to the terminal.

The young people said that they were admonished before being sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. The incident was reported by a young person already in Poland, who got the information from a priest in China.

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Screws tightened on House Church

BEIJING (AsiaNews): An intimidation campaign has been launched against a House Church in Guizhou province, with local authorities threatening to sue its members and bar their children from tertiary education.

The United States of America-based ChinaAid said in a press release on July 16 that people attending the Huaqiu Church were told that if they didn’t stop bringing their children to Church, they would not be admitted to any university or military academy.

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Government push for Church money

WENZHOU (SE): Relations between Churches and the local government in the province of Zhejiang, China, have been stretched over the past two years with a spate of demolition of crosses from Church buildings, but China Aid Media reported that the latest clash has been over money.

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Pakistan mourns national treasure

KARACHI (SE): The victim of an assassination in Karachi, Pakistan, on June 22, renowned qawwal, Amjad Farid Sabri, was described as the loss of a national treasure in a statement from the National Commission for Justice and Peace.

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Detained for religious contraband

HONG KONG (UCAN): Two Christian people remain in detention after being found to be in possession of religious material in the southern Guangdong province of China.

China Aid reported on June 15 that the police initially took three members of the Zhongfu Tongxin Church in Shantou into custody on May 30, but later released one.

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Crosses down flags up on churches

HONG KONG (UCAN): The hammer and sickle, the well-known symbol of the Communist state of China is now being flown atop churches in some parts of the country where once a cross reached for the sky.

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Prayer rally after desecration banned

HANDAN (AsiaNews): Police and the Religious Affairs Bureau in Handan, Hebei province, prevented the local Catholic communities from gathering for a day of prayer and fasting after the tabernacle of the church was desecrated on June 3.

The church had been burgled and the tabernacle broken into. Hosts were found scattered on the ground outside the building.

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