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China Bridge: Contradictions at the top?

Catholics outside of China are baffled by an apparent contradiction about the religious policy towards the Catholic Church between different departments in the top echelons of the Chinese government. 
 








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News suppressed as China’s Christians come under increased pressure

HONG KONG (UCAN): As the Chinese government continues to suppress religious freedom, Christianity is facing the forcible removal of crosses and demolition of churches across the vast nation.
 
However, threatened by the authorities and fearing retaliation, some members of Catholic Church dare not disclose what is happening to the outside world, causing a blackout of all news on the subject.
 

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Tracing the history of Catholic finances in China

HONG KONG (UCAN): Kang Zhijie, a scholar of Chinese Christian studies, has published Financial and Economic Studies of Chinese Catholicism (1582-1949), the first book on the finances of the Catholic Church in China prior to 1949, which also covers tensions between a sacred religion and a secular economy.
 

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Vatican tells China clergy to follow their conscience

VATICAN (CNS): The Vatican has told bishops and priests in China that they must follow their own consciences in deciding whether to register with the government and it urged Catholics in the country not to judge them for the choices they make.
 
The Vatican said the problem is that registration almost always requires the bishop or priest to accept “the principle of independence, autonomy and self-administration of the Church in China,” which could be read as a denial of one’s bonds with the pope and the universal Church.

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China called out for ‘extreme hostility’ to religion

WASHIINGTON (UCAN): “The Chinese Communist Party has exhibited extreme hostility to all religious faiths since its founding. The party demands that it alone be called God,” Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state of the United States of America (US) said at the release of the US Government’s 2018 Report on International Religious Freedom on June 21.
 

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Duterte’s reaction to fishing boat sinking slammed

MANILA (UCAN): Catholic bishops in the Philippines have criticised the government’s dismissal of the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel as a mere “maritime incident.”
 
Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, described the incident as a “little maritime incident” that politicians had made worse because of irresponsible statements.
 

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Philippine bishops decry China’s ‘continuous bullying’

MANILA (UCAN): “They have no respect for our territory nor respect for Filipino lives,” Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon, the Philippines said, following the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat and the abandonment of its crew by a Chinese vessel on June 9. He called the incident a manifestation of China’s lack of respect for Philippine sovereignty.
 
He joined at least two other Catholic bishops in the growing protest in Manila against what they described as China’s “continuous bullying…”
 

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Tricked into losing new church

HONG KONG (UCAN): Parishioners from Xuwan village, Xiantao city, in Hubei province, fear that local authorities will try to demolish a church built only two years ago using what locals describe as an “illegal ruse.”
 

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Battling Chinese marriage scams in Pakistan

LAHORE (UCAN): Capuchin Father Morris Jalal was alarmed when one of his catechists shared the news that a young female member of his parish in Lahore, in Pakistan’s Punjab province, was about to marry a Chinese businessman, especially in light of recent stories about human trafficking between the two countries.
 
He immediately summoned the woman’s family to his parish office.
 

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Memory of Tiananmen Square endures despite censorship and alternative facts

HONG KONG (SE): On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on 4 June 1989, the Chinese government moved to stifle even the slightest mention of the tragic incident on social media platforms in China. AsiaNews reported on May 30 that live streaming and video sites, as well as web hosts had scheduled system updates making it impossible to change profile pictures, register new accounts or post comments in real time. The report noted that streaming sites like YY, Huya and Douyu announced that they would carry out system maintenance until June 6 or 7.

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