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Two steps forward, one step back: Vatican diplomacy with China

Michael Sainsbury 
 
When Deng Xiaoping took charge of the Chinese Communist Party in late 1978 and announced his programme of reform, it was the beginning of the end of 39 years of isolation for China’s Christians.
 








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Sino-Vatican provisional deal signed

HONG KONG (SE): The Vatican announced on September 22 that a Provisional Agreement between the Holy-See and China on the appointment of bishops had been signed at a meeting by Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, undersecretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, and Wang Chao, deputy minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, the heads of the delegation of the Holy See and China. 
 

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New Internet rules could strangle religion

HONG KONG (UCAN): China has been accused of trying to strangle religion after the State Administration for Religious Affairs published draft measures to administer the distribution of religious information on the Internet on September 10. The deadline for comments is October 9.
 
One network administrator described the measures as “an all-around strangulation” that aims to strictly control religions from real life to the online world, making evangelisation more difficult.
 

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The criminalising of Tibetan culture

Liang Xiaojun, a defense lawyer for Tibetan language advocate, Tashi Wangchuk, posted a message on his Twitter account on August 22 relaying the verdict in Tashi’s appeal after he was charged with inciting separatism for seeking broader inclusion of the language in the local curriculum.
 
On May 22, the Yushu Intermediate Court in China’s western Qinghai province, had sentenced him to five years in jail,- and the Qinghai Higher People’s Court found no reason to overrule this.
 

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History is on the side of the Chinese people

Father Michael Kelly SJ
 
When will they ever learn? The best tonic to stir up religious fervour and greater commitment in a totalitarian society is to persecute believers.
 
And its happening again and ferociously in the Peoples Republic of China—most extensively among Muslims in Xinjiang where, reportedly, hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million Uighurs are now in re-education camps to improve their manners.
 








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Crackdown hits Protestant Churches in several provinces

HONG KONG (UCAN): A Protestant group, HKBCBS, has urged people express discontent with mainstream Protestant Churches in the Hong Kong turning a blind eye to the recent crackdown on Protestant Churches in China.
 
In a September 12 post on the group’s Facebook page, Yeung Ho-yin, the group’s founder, noted that the crackdown is thought to be the largest since the Cultural Revolution.
 

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Recalling the horrors of the Cultural Revolution

Zhang Guohua will never forget the horrors that plagued his village in Hebei province during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966 to 76) when he was forced to watch public beatings, torture and ritual humiliation.
 

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Zhejiang priest still missing

Hong Kong (UCAN): Father Lu Danhua remains unaccounted for eight months after he was taken away from the dormitory of Qingtian Catholic Church in Zhejiang province, by personnel from Qingtian Religious Affairs Bureau. 
 
When he was detained on 29 December 2017, bureau personnel said they just wanted a brief chat and later said the priest had been taken to Wenzhou to study new religious regulations and return after legal registration.
 

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Young people hope to take Taizé spirit back to China

HONG KONG (UCAN): Many participants from mainland China enjoyed the spiritual experience of the Taizé Community’s August 8 to 12 International Meeting of Young Adults in Hong Kong.
 
They said they hoped to share Taizé’s spirit of pursuing unity and reconciliation with other young people.
 
Maria, from Zhejiang province in eastern China, did a month of volunteering in Taizé, France, in August of 2011.
 

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Foreign powers warned to stay out of religion

HONG KONG (UCAN): Parroting the tired old line, Wang Zuo’an, the deputy minister of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), insisted that China’s religious affairs cannot be dominated by any foreign powers.
 

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