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Dialogue with China: There is no magic wand

Hong Kong (SE): In early May, the Vatican News website began publishing a series of articles to give insights on the criteria and reasons guiding the Holy See in its contacts with the Chinese government. The first of these, a two-part commentary is written by Sergio Centofanti and Jesuit Father Bernd Hagenkord.

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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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Bishop of Guangzhou silent on religious repression at Taiwan talk

HONG KONG (UCAN): A talk given by Bishop Joseph Gan Junqiu of Guangzhou, at the ninth Fu Jen Academia Catholica International Conference was flagged for not reflecting the truth about religious repression on the mainland.
 
Bishop Gan spoke about contemporary Catholic theological education and cultural construction in China at the conference, hosted by Taiwan Fu Jen Catholic University from May 4 to 5.
 

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The Galilee of China faces new era under Xi Jinping

Ying Fuk-tsang
 
From 2014 to 2016, the Chinese Communist Party conducted a systematic campaign of cross removals in Zhejiang province, the most populous Christian area of China in terms of the percentage of the population. The epicentre of Christianity there is the city of Wenzhou, known as the Jerusalem of the East.
 

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‘Can these bones come alive?’ Some churches in South China

The South was once known as the wasteland (不毛之地), a place where vegetation and crops hardly grew. 
 
Populated by peasants, ethnic minorities, exiles and migrants, the region was even considered barbarous—beyond the pale of Chinese civilisation as conceived by those who inhabited the Middle Kingdom, and who saw themselves as “heirs of legendary emperors.”
 








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Chinese priests greet Pope Francis at general audience

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis welcomed 26 Chinese priests to a general papal audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on April 25
 
They had been attending a spring session organised by the Verbiest Institute KU Leuven (Belgium), UCAN reported on April 26.
 
A priest from Inner Mongolia presented the pope with a chasuble made by Catholics from the autonomous region.
 

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Religious crackdown in Henan intensifies

HONG KONG (UCAN): Beijing’s crackdown on Catholic and Protestant churches in Henan, is intensifying in seven out of 10 dioceses in Henan province with buildings demolished and raided as well as hundreds of Bibles and holy books confiscated. 
 
A source said that in Hutuo village, Xicun town of Gongyi City in Luoyang Diocese, a Catholic church and the priests’ residence were demolished on April 17. The priests were also driven away.
 

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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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Registration of religious communities enforced in parts of Henan

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Chinese government has ramped up efforts to tighten control over religions in the Pengyuan district of the populous central province of Henan.
 
On April 4, local authorities posted a notice demanding those who follow the officially listed faiths—Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism—register with the residents’ committee.
 

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Top religious affairs official promoted in new structure

HONG KONG (UCAN): The long-standing director of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), Wang Zuo’an, has been formally transferred to the United Front Work Department (UFWD), as the religious affairs bureau is officially absorbed into the latter office.
 
While Wang will be promoted to deputy director of the UFWD, he will his retain his SARA title to prevent confusion in dealings with other nations on religious matters.
 

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