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Beijing’s meddling with personnel a new headache for Vatican

HONG KONG (UCAN): The two government appointed Catholic bodies, the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, have released revised constitutions placing Sinicisation at the centre of their operational philosophy.

The new emphasis in the constitutions of the two bodies is being interpreted as part of a broader strategy by Beijing to put a stronger Chinese flavour into religion, which also means a stronger Communist socialist ethic.

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Internet control during national congress tightest yet

HONG KONG (SE): Complaints have emerged from Internet followers of current affairs in China, who say that National People’s Congress, which some refer to as the annual parliament, held in Beijing from March 5 to 15, was marked by stricter-than-usual controls.

Radio Free Asia quoted Guangzhou-based writer, Xu Lin, as saying that many of the more outspoken members of the popular chat network QQ had their accounts shut down at the beginning of March, with fresh accounts also deleted as soon as they were set up.

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Patron of workers and newly-weds celebrated

BEIJING (SE): Living our Christian life in the footsteps of St. Joseph is a much loved celebration in the Church in China. As the patron saint of workers, mission in China and newly-weds, the feast highlights his virtues of obedience, silence, humility and serenity.

Fides reported that parishes, colleges, religious congregations, mission stations not only mark the day of his feast on March 19, but dedicate the whole month to imitating his spirit, which is well in tune with the ancient teachings of Chinese culture and tradition.

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Trampled rights in Tibet

MADRID (UCAN): Fifty-eight years ago, a large Tibetan protest against the Chinese government broke out in Lhasa, Tibet, on March 10, which eventually led to the political and spiritual leader of the country, the Dalai Lama, some government officials and tens of thousands of Tibetans fleeing to neighbouring India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries.

On March 10 this year, exiled Tibetans around the world held a variety of activities to mark the anniversary and called on the Chinese government to improve its policy towards Tibet and resolve the issues that cause so much discontent.

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Can a Christian join the Communist Party?

HONG KONG (SE): A question posted on Zhihu, the Chinese version of Quora, an Internet question and answer forum, posed the age old question which keeps reappearing on one form or another, “Can a Christian join the Communist Party?”

The query came from a young graduate, who asked, “I’ve been a Christian for six months and now my work requires me to join the Communist Party. But, if the party and religion are at odds with each other, what do I do?”

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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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