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Chinese official decries foreign religious meddling

HONG KONG (UCAN): Wang Zuo’an, deputy minister of the Chinese government’s United Front Work Department, published a signed commentary dealing with so-called Sinicisation of the Catholic Church and other religious groups on March 26.
 
Writing in the state-run Zhongguo Minzu Bao newspaper, he insisted there must be Communist Party leadership in relation to religious practice taking into account “geopolitical” factors.
 

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Those who build walls will become prisoners pope says

PAPAL FLIGHT (CNS): During the inflight news conference following the conclusion of his visit to Morocco on March 31, Pope Francis responded to questions about interreligious dialogue, religious freedom and migration.
 
He remarked that his February trip to the United Arab Emirates and his trip to Morocco were opportunities to demonstrate the Catholic Church’s commitment to interreligious dialogue. 
 

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Religious freedom report flunks 28 countries

WASHINGTON (CNS): The United States International Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) singled out 28 countries for repression of religious liberty in its annual report, issued on August 29.
 
The 228-page report designated 16 countries as Tier 1—the harshest level of repression: Myanmar, Central African Republic, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
 

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China squeeze on Churches just the beginning

Beijing (AsiaNews): Protestant Christians in China “are not a force in disagreement, an error to be managed or rectified, the chosen objective of veiled or direct attacks. Thinking this way is wrong, it’s a fundamental mistake,” said an appeal signed by 34 unofficial congregations.
 
Domestic Protestant Churches have been hit by yet another round of restrictions on their religious freedom.
 

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Systematic and planned suppression in Henan

HONG KONG (UCAN): The recent crackdown on various Catholic and Protestant communities was the result of more than two years of organisation and preparation at provincial, city and county level through the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasingly powerful United Front Work Department, according to Ying Fuk-tsang, a professor and director of the divinity school at Chung Chi College, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
 

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China’s religious freedom white paper is doublespeak

By Sang Pu
 
The release of the Chinese government’s white paper on religious freedom is not a periodic event as it is only the second since 1997.
 
Given the ad hoc nature of such releases, it is fair to imagine that China is pursuing a particular political purpose in this action.
 








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Churches in Pakistan reopened after outcry

ISLAMABAD (UCAN): Six Christian churches in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have been allowed to reopen some two weeks after their forced closure over alleged security threats, minority representatives said.
 
The house churches are located in the city of Abbottabad, where Al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden, was found and killed in a raid by United States (US) Navy SEAL commandos in 2011.
 

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Put your faith in the Party

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The county of Yugan in the southern province of Jiangxi, is quite poor and also has a significant Christian population, but a fresh government campaign has seen cadres visiting the homes of Christian people and presenting families with large posters depicting the president, Xi Jinping, to replace religious pictures in the main rooms of their homes.
 

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Nepal newest pariah on religious freedom

KATHMANDU (UCAN): Nepal has become the latest pariah state in the religious freedom field by making religious conversion illegal.
 
Seen as specifically aimed at the Christian faith, Kathmandu has now formed a bloc alongside its two neighbours, India and Pakistan, in which the small Christian minorities are facing increasing threats from the government against their faith.
 

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