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An Irish celebration on Chinese soil

HONG KONG (SE): The Irish community of Hong Kong celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in grand style, beginning with a two-day crafts and culture exhibition on March 10 and 11 at the Comix Homebase in Wan Chai followed by the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade through the streets of Tamar on March 12.

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Remember not his foibles but his greatness

BEIJING (SE): The sad circumstances of the death of Bishop Casimir Wang Milu on February 14 that saw his bishop-brother denied the opportunity to officiate at his funeral and opportunistic rumours spreading on social media, has left the life of this zealous and hardworking pastor under a mysterious cloud.

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China publishes list of religious institutes

BEIJING (SE): Since 2014, the State Administration for Religious Affairs has been in the process of building an online database on religions in China on its website.

Since the end of 2015, all sites for religious activities, including Buddhist and Daoist temples that have been registered with the state, have been listed on its website.

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China battens down hatches on Tibet

LHASA (SE): Human Rights Watch is critical of Beijing for staging a massive military parade in Lhasa, Tibet, just one week prior to the marking of the failed 1959 uprising that saw China finally put its stranglehold on the country.

Lhasa became a military fortress when some 5,000 troops carrying guns and shields accompanied by about 1,000 military and anti-riot vehicles marched through the streets of the Tibetan capital on March 3, just seven days prior to the March 10 anniversary.

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Islamic State ups the terror ante in Xinjiang

HONG KONG (UCAN): In response to a video released by the Islamic State vowing to spill blood in China, Beijing has pledged to fight terrorist forces alongside the international community.

The 30-minute video shows a guerilla-like figure, suspected of being a Uyghur from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China, claiming that he would go back to China and commit a terrorist attack. The video also features images of Xinjiang and Chinese police patrolling the streets.

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A Cultural Revolution in playback mode

BEIJING (UCAN): This year began in China with the sacking of a university professor, Deng Xiangchao, after he posted some critical messages about the first chairman of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, on social media.

Shandong Jianzhu University sacked Deng for airing his opinion on how many millions of Chinese died because of decisions made by Mao and the madness he often orchestrated.

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What’s in Vatican negotiations for China?

HONG KONG (SE): The benefits of an equitable agreement coming out of the ongoing Vatican-Beijing dialogue seem obvious enough for the Catholic Church, but no one enters into an international negotiation unless there is something in it for them as well, so what’s in it for China?

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Unregistered religion under the hammer

HONG KONG (SE): Government interference in religion is growing in China, with authorities suppressing Islam and denigrating Christian teachings as a foreign import, a report released by Freedom House on February 28 maintains.

Radio Free Asia quoted the report as saying that to the detriment of Christianity and Islam, Beijing is promoting Chinese Buddhism and Taoism, as it sees them as being more supportive of traditional notions of loyalty to the state.

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Subtle snub for Cardinal Tong

HONG KONG (UCAN): An article published by John Cardinal Tong Hon in the Sunday Examiner on February 12 suggesting possible ways for Church-state relations in China to move forward appears to have received a subtle snub from Beijing.

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Shutdown on unofficial Churches in Xinjiang

HONG KONG (SE): Authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang in China have banned all Christian activities not linked to state-approved Churches, launching a region-wide crackdown on worship centres of unofficial communities under the guise of instituting anti-terrorism precautions.

Radio Free Asia reported on February 28 that unofficial Catholic communities and Protestant House Churches have been put on notice and commanded to halt all activity throughout the region.

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