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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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Vatican statement on China brings comfort and hope

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): Priests in China approached by AsiaNews all spoke with satisfaction about the statement released by the Vatican on November 20 commenting on the Congress of Catholic Representatives, scheduled from December 27 to 29, and the presence of an illicitly ordained bishop at two ordinations on November 30 and December 2 (Sunday Examiner, January 1).

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The why of Vietnam’s law on religion questioned

HOCHIMIHN (UCAN): The Vietnam National Assembly has ratified a controversial law on religious activities sparking a strong reaction from religious communities.

The Law on Belief and Religion, which was passed by the National Assembly on November 18 is the first ever law on religious activities since the country was reunified in 1975.

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Paralleling religion and terrorism

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Chinese government has tightened the screws on religious freedom in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region with new regulations providing for parents and guardians to be reported if they force children to take part in religious activities.

The new regulations in the Muslim-majority state were passed by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional People’s Congress on September 29 and will come into effect on November 1.

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Constitution versus religious regulations

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): China is poised to promulgate a new set of Regulations on Religious Activities on October 7, which seek to control every facet of the lives of religious communities from personnel to places of worship, and from statues to buildings.

The regulations also make specific reference to terrorist activities and separatist movements, with the big demand being that there are to be no ties with foreign countries, as all religions in China must be fully independent.

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Bishop’s death sparks succession quandary

WENZHOU (AsiaNews): The death of Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang, from Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, on the morning of September 7 at the age of 90 has sparked a looming crisis in the continued leadership of the diocese.

The coadjutor bishop set to succeed him was reported to have been kidnapped by police a few days before Bishop Zhu’s death and was not allowed to return for his funeral.

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Official Church facing authenticity crisis

HONG KONG (UCAN): St. Joseph’s Church in Beijing towers over busy Wangfujing Street, not far from Tiananmen Square. 

On an uncharacteristically humid afternoon in July this year, the courtyard is abandoned, save for three men sleeping on benches.

The church doors are shuttered, but not locked. Outside the main gate, another four homeless people take refuge from the pounding sun and suffocatingly humid air. But inside, there’s not a soul.

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China tightens clamp on religious freedom

WENZHOU (SE): Authorities in Zhejiang province have moved against what has become a popular and successful ministry to the sick and dying by Christian people by banning all forms of religious activity in hospitals.

Ministry among the sick, as well as people who are isolated from their families has become a fast developing apostolate, with some entrepreneurial groups advertising among Christian communities for carers.

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Court challenges seal of confession

BATON ROUGE (CWN): In a two-one ruling, an appellate court in the United States of America ruled that a woman whose family is suing the diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and one of its priests, may testify about what she told the priest during confession.

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Is the door of caged bishop ajar?

SHANGHAI (SE): What began as a study of the legacy of the late Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, from Shanghai, and scheduled to be held on the centennial anniversary of his birth on June 20, was first disrupted when a command performance in Beijing co-opted many of its delegates, and then by the political intrigue of whether the caged Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin would appear or not.

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