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...of rough diamonds and cutural vandals

PERTH (SE): “The head of the Chinese delegation expressed high respect for the traditional owners of the land,” a representative of the Chinese Consulate in Perth, Australia, said in describing the manner in which a delegation from his country to a conference hosted by the Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, interrupted her as she was introducing an Aboriginal Welcoming to the Land ceremony at the opening session.
 

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Time to take up the cross again

WENZHOU (UCAN): The province of Zhejiang has been through a highly controversial period over the past four years, as Christians have been forced to watch more than 1,700 crosses being removed from Church buildings by government authorities.
 
But now that the secretary of the Communist Party that gave the demolition orders is moving on, some people think that it is time to take up the cross again.
 

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The crime of singing in Church

BEIJING (SE): A Taiwanese pastor was detained for singing the worship song Jesus Loves You in Zhengzhou, Henan, in China, which officials have branded as an illegal religious activity.
 
China Aid, which reports on persecution and human rights abuses in the world’s most populous nation, said Pastor Xu Rongzhang, from Taiwan, was detained at Easter, because he led a group of Christians in Zhengzhou in singing the song.
 
Xu was released later the same day, the Christian Post website reported.

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Dicey time for religion in China

HONG KONG (SE): “Everybody is out there… trying to reify that part of life which is not filled by bread alone, by commerce alone,” Orville Schell, the director of the Asia Society Centre on relations between the United States of America and China, said during a panel discussion on religion in China held at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University on May 1.
 

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A media mouthpiece for Beijing

 HONG KONG (SE): The 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders places China at number 176 out of 180 regions across the world, sharing with Vietnam the distinction of being named “the world’s biggest prisons for journalists and bloggers.”

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Unofficial Church worried over investment in city

HONG KONG (UCAN): The unofficial Catholic community in the northern Hebei province of China is worried that an enormous economic project will increase government suppression of their faith.
 
In one of the cities that will be affected by the proposed Xiongan New District development, Catholics say that they believe the government will use the project to act against the Church.
 

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What’s in a name? In Xinjiang a lot

HOTAN (SE): “What’s in a name?” is a frequently asked throwaway line, but it seems that if you are a Muslim and live in Xinjiang province of China there may be a lot more than meets the eye.
 
Provincial authorities have banned dozens of names that have a religious connotation and are widely used by Muslims in other parts of the world from being given to babies.
 

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Hebei province tops the baptism ladder

HONG KONG (UCAN): The region of Hebei in China recorded 4,446 baptisms over Easter, the highest number so far reported.

 

Provinces with over 1,000 on record include 1,593 in central Shanxi, 1,327 in southern Guangdong, 1,234 in northwestern Shaanxi, 1,169 in eastern Shandong, 1,168 in eastern Zhejiang and 1,097 in central Henan.

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Farewell to aged bishop in Guizhou

HONG KONG (UCAN): The retired Bishop Anicetus Wang Chongyi passed away in a Guizhou hospital on April 20 at the age of 98.
Father Peter Wang, from Huangguoshu parish in the bishop’s hometown, said that Bishop Wang had spent the month prior to his death under palliative care.

“His last Easter was spent in hospital,” Father Wang said.

The staff at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Guiyang released a notice asking people to pray for the deceased bishop.

Bishop Wang was recognised by both the Vatican and the Chinese government.

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