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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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China’s religious freedom white paper is doublespeak

By Sang Pu
 
The release of the Chinese government’s white paper on religious freedom is not a periodic event as it is only the second since 1997.
 
Given the ad hoc nature of such releases, it is fair to imagine that China is pursuing a particular political purpose in this action.
 








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Registration of religious communities enforced in parts of Henan

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Chinese government has ramped up efforts to tighten control over religions in the Pengyuan district of the populous central province of Henan.
 
On April 4, local authorities posted a notice demanding those who follow the officially listed faiths—Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism—register with the residents’ committee.
 

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Top religious affairs official promoted in new structure

HONG KONG (UCAN): The long-standing director of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), Wang Zuo’an, has been formally transferred to the United Front Work Department (UFWD), as the religious affairs bureau is officially absorbed into the latter office.
 
While Wang will be promoted to deputy director of the UFWD, he will his retain his SARA title to prevent confusion in dealings with other nations on religious matters.
 

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Bible rewrite stokes censorship fears in China

Hong Kong (UCAN): “With the implementation of the revised regulations on religious affairs, the religious world on the Internet will surely become a target in the next wave of rectification,” said Ying Fuk-tsang, director of the divinity school of Chung Chi College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as Catholic groups expressed concern that Beijing will bring its heavy Internet censorship squarely into the world of religious literature, including a state-sponsored re-working of the Bible, and materials both physically and on the Internet after the Chinese government banne

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Hope for continuing Sino-Vatican dialogue

by Anthony Lam Sui-ki
 
Recently, Sino-Vatican dialogue has again become a hot issue for media and for the public. Actually, as early as 1981, the late Pope St. John Paul II already expressed his desire for contact and dialogue. The Holy See, however, stresses that such contact and dialogue do not aim at the establishment of diplomatic relations. 
 








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China’s Muslims feel crack of Sinicization whip

HONG KONG (UCAN): On March 12 photographs began circulating on the Internet showing domes and religious motifs being removed from mosques in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of northern China, as officials imposed the new religious regulation that came into effect on February 1.
 
Netizens in Yinchuan, the capital of the autonomous region, shared photos of a crane being used to dismantle elements of Islamic buildings deemed to breach China’s Sinicization directive.
 

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Bishop of Mindong detained again

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of the unofficial Church in Mindong, Fujian province, was taken from his home on March 26, according to AsiaNews
The 59-year-old bishop received a call from the local Administration for Religious Affairs on March 26 asking to meet at his office. 
 
After least two hours of talks, the bishop returned to his home at 7.00pm where packed his bags before being taken away at 10.00pm.
 
The priest who is the bishop’s secretary was also taken away.

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China presence at organ trafficking conference called window-dressing

Hong Kong (UCAN): The presence of Chinese health officials at the March 12 to 13 conference on organ trafficking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican, would be more meaningful if such meetings weren’t just mere “window-dressing,” said a human rights researcher.
 
Patrick Poon, an Amnesty International researcher, had little faith in what they had to offer.
 

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