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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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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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