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Unregistered religion under the hammer

HONG KONG (SE): Government interference in religion is growing in China, with authorities suppressing Islam and denigrating Christian teachings as a foreign import, a report released by Freedom House on February 28 maintains.

Radio Free Asia quoted the report as saying that to the detriment of Christianity and Islam, Beijing is promoting Chinese Buddhism and Taoism, as it sees them as being more supportive of traditional notions of loyalty to the state.

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Apostasy is political not religious

CASABLANCA (SE): The High Religious Committee, which is in charge of issuing fatwas (Islamic rulings) in Morocco, released a book in 2012 which articulates its position that apostasy should be punished by death.

Drawing on a widespread jurisprudence tradition, the 2012 book argues that a Muslim who changes his or her religion should be punished with death.

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Chinese Muslim website blocked

HONG KONG (Agencies): One of China’s most popular online communities for Muslims has been shut down after posting a petition asking the president, Xi Jinping, to stop his brutal suppression of human rights advocates.

The students who wrote the petition told Agence France Presse on December 14 that they demanded the immediate release of advocates still held by the state.

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Don’t identify Islam with terrorism

VATICAN (SE): “It is not right to identify Islam with violence. It is not right and it is not true,” Pope Francis told reporters during his return flight from World Youth Day in Poland on July 31.

The pope also stressed that he would not identify Islam with terrorism, because that would be unfair and not true.

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St. Francis as a pioneer of mission among Muslims

HONG KONG (SE): St. Francis of Assisi is well known for his finely tuned sense of appreciation of nature, as well as being a dedicated peace-maker, but at an evening held at the Anatolia Dialogue Centre in Wan Chai, Franciscan Brother Raymond Yeung Yim portrayed him as a dedicated, ground-breaking missionary among people of the Muslim faith.

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Little text big meaning

NEW YORK (CNS): Despite its brevity, In Our Time (Nostra Aetate), or the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council marks a starting point for dialogue among Christians, Muslims and Jews that must be continued into the future.