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China tightens screws on Muslims

HONG KONG (SE): Muslims from the predominantly Uyghur populated region of Xinjiang in China are being detained by the hundreds upon return from pilgrimages overseas.
 
Radio Free Asia reports that local courts in the northwestern region are being told to deal with anyone engaging in any form of illegal religious activity.
 
The United States of America-funded broadcasting station quoted a human rights lawyer as saying, “There is a huge crackdown in Xinjiang.”
 

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Laity are at the heart of spreading God’s word

BEIJING (SE): Prompted by an observation from Father John Baptist Zhang at a gathering of the Union of Major Superiors of Religious Women’s Institutes in mainland China held in Beijing from June 21 to 25, the 51 superiors, representing 19 congregations, together with 17 priests and some 20 members of the laity agreed that the time is ripe for a greater missionary mobilisation with a much heavier involvement of lay people.
 

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All in the name of progress

BEIJING (AsiaNews): A family of seven in Hanzhong, a village in Shaanxi province, northwestern China, was dragged from their home, bound and gagged, by a demolition team, The Beijing News has reported.
 
The family had refused compensation from local authorities, who responded on July 1 by sending in a wrecking crew.
 
Operating under the dictum, anything in the name of progress, the team secured the family with zip ties and tape, dragging all seven out of the house before beginning to demolish it.

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Health of Liu Xiaobo deliberately neglected former top aide says

BEIJING (SE): Bao Tong, the former top aide to the late ousted Chinese premier, Zhao Ziyang, has hit out at the Communist Party for its tardiness in granting medical parole to jailed Nobel laureate and democracy advocate, Liu Xiaobo (Sunday Examiner, July 2). 
 

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China visit by Macau delegation gets minimum mention

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang, the bishop of Macau, led a 12-member delegation on a May 29 to June 2 visit to Beijing. The occasion was largely downplayed by religious officials in the Chinese capital.
 
The delegation from Macau aimed to learn more about the state of seminary formation, pastoral care, parish work and educational activities of the Church on the mainland, and to “promote mutual understanding and exchange.”
 

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Old timers hold up the Church in rural China

HONG KONG (UCAN): Every evening, no matter how busy or tired she may be, Yiu reads the bible at home to her seven-year-old granddaughter. Sometimes friends from her parish come and join her.
 
Yiu lives in Changzhi, a diocese with 80 churches and 37 prayer houses for its 60,000-strong Catholic population. Among them, only four are in cities, 18 are in suburban areas and the rest in rural zones.
 

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Vatican expresses grave concern over missing bishop

VATICAN (SE): “The Holy See is following with grave concern the personal situation of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, forcibly removed from his episcopal see some time ago,” Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said in a statement on June 26, CNS reported.
 

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China can learn from the Vatican about managing Hong Kong

Pope Francis and President Xi Jinping came into their present roles within a day of each other in 2013—the pope was elected on March 13 and Xi became president on March 14. However, they have followed completely different paths in governing immense and cumbersome entities—the People’s Republic of China and the universal Church.