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China gives notice on religion summit

HONG KONG (SE): The Communist Party of China has given notice that its long-expected first summit on religion in 10 years will be held in the coming weeks.

Some believe that sweeping changes to regulations governing religious affairs and practice are in the offing, as the report notes that the gathering may be chaired by the president, Xi Jinping.

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Freedom of speech on same-sex marriage

HONG KONG (SE): In multi-cultural Sydney, Australia’s attorney general, George Brandis, told a Religious Roundtable on November 5 that there are inconsistent attitudes towards religious tolerance and freedom in the Land Down Under.

Speaking to a mixed interfaith group, the attorney general said, “Religious freedom is every bit as important as political freedom.”

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Is target crosses or illegal structures?

HONG KONG (UCAN): Christians in the Zhejiang province of China, where authorities have been carrying out a massive campaign to remove the crosses from Church buildings, say they will remain vigilant amid signs that the hardline strategy could spread to other jurisdictions.

Although Christian leaders in the province say the campaign against the crosses has subsided since September, authorities across China have recently met to discuss the issue of illegal building structures.

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Court overrules appeal on house church closure

BEIJING (Agencies): A court in Guizhou, China, has ruled against an appeal by a Christian community disputing an order that a house church must be closed.

China Aid reported that members of the Huaqiu House Church raised 50,000 yuan ($62,500) and built a church in May 2014 after receiving a certificate of approval for the self-financed project.

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Summit on religion mooted

HONG KONG (SE): The Communist Party of China is sending signals that it will intensify its control over the Catholic Church and other religions at a summit on religion that is expected to be held towards the end of this year.

It will be the first such gathering to take place since the current president, Xi Jinping, came to power in 2012.

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Myanmar butts into pope’s conversations

YANGON (AsiaNews): A couple of days before departing for Rome, Charles Cardinal Bo, from Yangon, was asked by government officials not to use the word Rohingya when speaking about the Rohingya people with Pope Frances.

It was reported by Muzzimi News that officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs in the Union of Myanmar approached Cardinal Bo.

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More clamps on religious freedom in Asia

HONG KONG (UCAN): The parliament in Naypyidaw, the Union of Myanmar, passed controversial legislation championed by hardline Buddhist nationalists on August 21, raising fears authorities will have new tools to use against already marginalised minority groups.

Members of the parliament said that two proposed bills had been passed; one regulating religious conversions and the other an anti-polygamy bill.

Je Yaw Wu, a representative in the Upper House, confirmed that the parliament had passed the legislation.

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A kite flier needs 
a kite runner

 

Did the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Fernando Cardinal Filoni, really expect some official response from Beijing to his almost impassioned appeal for a reopening of dialogue between Beijing and the Holy See, or was he just flying a kite? (Sunday Examiner, November 4).








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Bad year for religious freedom in Asia

 

ROME (UCAN): A new report released on October 17 in Rome by Aid to the Church in Need on the religious freedom of minority groups in Asia says that persecution of Christians has continued or worsened in many countries in Asia during the past 12 months.

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Cardinal Filoni in heartfelt appeal for dialogue

 

HONG KONG (SE): The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and former head of the Vatican China study mission in Hong Kong, Fernando Cardinal Filoni, has broken a silence on China that he has kept almost completely intact since Hong Kong-born Archbishop Savio Tai-fai became secretary to the congregation nearly two years ago.

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