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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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Religious persecution up in China

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution claims that as many as 20,000 people suffered from what can be classified as religious persecution in China during 2015.

Nevertheless, The Christian Post reported on May 24 that despite increasing persecution, the number of Christians in the country continues to grow.

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Pastor opposed to cross demolitions released

Beijing (Agencies): Zhang Chongzhu, who protested against the government’s cross demolition campaign, was released on May 9. 

Zhang, the pastor of the Pyongyang Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church in Zhejiang province, had been detained since August 2015. 

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Church demolition team buries protester alive

ZHUMADIAN (AsiaNews): Ding Cuimei, the wife of an Protestant pastor, Reverend Li Jiangong, from an unregistered Church in Zhumadian, Henan, died of suffocation after she was buried alive while trying to defend their Beitou Church building from demolition.

Her husband, who was also buried, managed to survive.

The police have opened an investigation and arrested two people from the demolition team, but did not reveal any details about the case.

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Age not the only dilemma for China’s bishops

HONG KONG (UCAN): Who can take their place is becoming a circular dilemma for some of China’s ageing bishops.

While the general custom in the Church is for bishops to retire at 75, Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang, from Wenzhou, has found that stepping down is fraught with problems, even though he is already 90.

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Hong Kong pastor put on trial in Shenzhen

HONG KONG (UCAN): A pastor from Hong Kong, Reverend Ng Wah, is reported to have been prosecuted on the mainland for printing Christian books and raising money to support the apostolate of his Church.

Constant Kim, a friend and member of the Christian Church of Chinese Ministry that Reverend Ng had set up, said on April 6 that he disappeared in July last year and was arrested on the mainland.

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Persecution of House Churches and the Uyghur deepens

BEIJING (UCAN): The Supreme Court of China has reported a huge reduction in state security trials, which typically apply to political and religious detainees, but analysis from the United States of America (US)-based China advocacy group, the Dui Hua Foundation, say there is evidence of a significant rise in cases involving cults and terrorism, which suggests the persecution of unofficial, or House Churches, as well as the Uyghur Muslim community may be worsening.

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