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Praying for the Church in China without missing the point

Michel Chambon
 
May 24 has since 2007 been a day of prayer for the Catholic Church in China. At that time, Pope Benedict invited all Catholics, especially Chinese Catholics, to embrace the special day by renewing their faith in Jesus and striving for unity.
 
Echoing this, Pope Francis has encouraged prayers asking that Chinese Catholics make concrete gestures of “fraternity, harmony and reconciliation.”
 








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Reports on Marian pilgrimages banned

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Hebei-based Faith Weekly, has been ordered not to report any news about Marian pilgrimages in May across the China. This has raised concerns that Hebei will join Henan as the targets of the Communist Party’s recent religious crackdown.
 
Webmasters in other dioceses said that they had submitted articles on local or inter-provincial pilgrimages to Faith Weekly but none had been published.
 

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Easter baptisms in China

Young Chinese Catholics, newly baptised at Easter, explained that their faith in God changed their lives and their conversions impelled them to learn more about him and share this experience with others in their atheist and materialist societies. 
 








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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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