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Priest banned from travelling abroad

HANOI (UCAN): Redemptorist Father John Nguyen Ngoc Nam Phong, who is known for his human rights advocacy campaigns for social justice, has been barred from leaving Vietnam for national security reasons.
 
A Church person said that the priest from Thai Ha parish in Hanoi was stopped at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport as he was checking in on a flight to Australia for study laave on June 27.
 

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Wenzhou bishop still held

SHANGHAI (AsiaNews): A particular intention on May 24, the day set aside for the past decade for prayer for the Church in China, was the release of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Zhejiang.
 
The feast day of Our Lady Help of Christians was designated by Pope Benedict XVI as the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China in his letter to the Catholic people of the mainland in May 2007.
 

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Time to take up the cross again

WENZHOU (UCAN): The province of Zhejiang has been through a highly controversial period over the past four years, as Christians have been forced to watch more than 1,700 crosses being removed from Church buildings by government authorities.
 
But now that the secretary of the Communist Party that gave the demolition orders is moving on, some people think that it is time to take up the cross again.
 

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Unofficial Church worried over investment in city

HONG KONG (UCAN): The unofficial Catholic community in the northern Hebei province of China is worried that an enormous economic project will increase government suppression of their faith.
 
In one of the cities that will be affected by the proposed Xiongan New District development, Catholics say that they believe the government will use the project to act against the Church.
 

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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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Response of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong to Mrs. Carrie Lam’s ‘Proposal of Setting up a Religious Affairs Unit’ in her Manifesto of Chief Executive Election

In Mrs. Carrie Lam’s Manifesto for 2017 Chief Executive Election, there is a mention of a possible study “of setting up a Religious Affairs Unit” in its Points 6.43 and 6.44. Cardinal John Tong Hon, of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, has written a letter to Mrs. Lam on March 2, expressing the Diocese’s resolute opposition of a possible “setting up of a Religious Affairs Unit” group or similar institutions in Hong Kong.

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How full is full religious freedom?

HONG KONG (SE): In the clash of heads over the inclusion by chief executive hopeful, Carrie Lam Chen Yuet-ngor, of a suggestion to set up a government Religious Affairs Unit in Hong Kong (see page 1), the phrase, “Hong Kong already enjoys full religious freedom” is being tossed about with gay abandon.

While it is a guarantee of the Basic Law, the definition of religious freedom seems to be at least up for grabs, as it is not necessarily clear who has the right to define or describe it.

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Control of religious bodies in China is set to remain tight

HONG KONG (UCAN): China will continue choosing bishops for the official Catholic Church community and it will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, a work plan for 2017 posted on the website of the State Administration of Religious Affairs on January 26 announced.

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Release of new religious regulations expected soon

HONG KONG (UCAN): Wang Zuo’an, the director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, has disclosed that the newly amended regulations on religion will be released in the near future and part of the deal is that the his office plans to pay great attention to their enforcement.

The national meeting for religious directors across China was held in Beijing from January 9 to 10, during which the Wang delivered his remarks while setting out his plan for the year ahead.

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