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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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Two China dioceses reportedly forced to join patriotic association

HONG KONG (UCAN): The dioceses of Fuzhou and Mindong in Fujian, China were forced to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA). In Fuzhou some priests were allegedly banned from leaving China, sources said. 
 
When approaching the Diocese of Fuzhou, government officials reportedly said that the Diocese of Mindong had already agreed to fall under its wing.
 

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Concerns over China’s sharp power

TAIPEI (UCAN): A May 18-20 conference in Taiwan heard that China’s communist government is increasingly using so-called sharp power to stymie international scrutiny of its poor human rights record, including the Tiananmen Square massacre of 4 June 1989.
 
The conference, marking the 30th anniversary of the massacre, was organised by the Hong Kong-based New School for Democracy and the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.
 

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Authorities kept from demolishing shrine

HONG KONG (UCAN): Authorities in the Diocese of Xiwanzi, in China’s Hebei province, were prevented from demolishing statues at Shengdiliang Shrine on May 13 by local Catholics who slept at the site to protect them.
 
The shrine has representations of Jesus the Good Shepherd; Lazarist Bishop Joseph-Martial Mouly, the first bishop of Xiwanzi; and Lazarist Father Mathew Shi, the first parish priest of Xiwanzi Church.
 

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Beijing’s big bucks muffle religious protest in Southeast Asia

Simon Roughneen 
 
A year ago the United States moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, sparking protests in Muslim-majority countries and drawing official condemnation at the United Nations (UN).
 
An estimated 30,000 people demonstrated in Jakarta, Indonesia, as the president, Joko Widodo, said his country “rejects” the American move as it “may disrupt the peace process in Israel and Palestine.”

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