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Approach Beijing with caution Vatican warned

OTTAWA (SE): “We should be under no illusion that as China engages more and more with the political, economic and social frameworks of the world, that that is having any impact on their human rights record,” the former ambassador for religious freedom from Canada, Andrew Bennett, said in warning the Catholic Church that in its negotiations with China it should have no illusions in approaching Beijing.

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Wary of government hand in fund raising drive

HONG KONG (UCAN): Some people are expressing skepticism over what was billed as Relief Donations Day to support the outreach efforts carried out by Jinde Charities, the only Catholic charity in China that is a registered non-government organisation.

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China removes unofficial community bishops on the cusp of Easter

MINDONG (SE): Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin, from the unofficial Church community in Mindong, was reported on April 10 as having been missing for four days.

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Bishop Ma pops up in Mindong

HONG KONG (SE): Comments doing the rounds on Catholic social media in China over the stood down Bishop Thaddaeus Ma Daqin being invited to celebrate Mass in the cathedral in Mindong on Easter Sunday call it big news, but sad news.

They also describe it as a slap in the face from the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association for the Vatican.

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China arrests Korean pastors

HONG KONG (SE): Two Protestant pastors from South Korea in the northeastern province of Liaoning have been arrested in China and accused of aiding and abetting refugees from North Korea to flee into Chinese territory.

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Chinese in Italy pray for homeland

ROME (UCAN): While the troubled relationship between the Vatican and Beijing remains unresolved, the Chinese Catholic community in Italy is preparing for a prayer day to mark the 10th anniversary of the letter penned to Catholics in China in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.

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Priest asks China for mercy on North Korean refugees

SEOUL (SE): Father Philippe Blot, who has spent many years working with North Korean refugees in China, said that conditions have worsened for surviving Christians under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-un and he is urging Beijing to give shelter to fugitives crossing into China from the hermit kingdom.

The National Catholic Reporter said on April 4 that Father Blot, a volunteer with the Paris Foreign Mission Society, describes the situation facing North Korean refugees as becoming ever more dramatic as they flee to China to avoid dying of hunger.

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Priest tried but no verdict given

HONG KONG (UCAN): Supporters of Father Fei Jisheng, from Liaoning in China, who faced trial over allegations of embezzlement in northern China, insist he was actually arrested on trumped up charges because of the evangelical work he has been involved in.

They say they are now even more concerned as no verdict has been so far announced by the court.

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Former judge detained for helping farmers

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Police in Xinjiang detained a retired judge, Huang Yunmin, on March 12 for helping local residents file complaints against government officials.

The formal charge brought against him is inciting ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination.

People familiar with the case say his detention is a retaliation against Huang for helping people prepare and pursue legal complaints over what they view as unjust court verdicts and rights violations.

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Spy cameras going into churches

BEIJING (UCAN): China has tightened the squeeze on Christians by forcing Catholic and Protestant Churches in the heavily Christian province of Zhejiang to install CCTV cameras both in and outside their buildings.

The government wants the unofficial and the official Catholic communities in Zhejiang to install surveillance cameras in their parish compounds by the end of March.

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