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Protesting the Philippines kowtow foreign policy

MANILA (UCAN): Protesters in Manila marked the country’s 120th Independence Day on June 12 marching against what they described as the Philippine government’s continuing “subservient foreign policy” to both China and the United States of America (US).
 
Only a week earlier, Chinese Coast Guard personnel drove Filipino fishermen out of their traditional fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. A video report released by GMA News showed the fishermen watching helplessly their catch was seized.

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International conference covers Church in China since 1979

HONG KONG (SE): Scholars and China Church specialists gathered to exchange and discuss views at an international conference on the Catholic Church in China since 1979 at the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). 
 
The conference, which ran from June 14 to 15, was coordinated by Dr. Cindy Chu, and was jointly organised by the HKBU Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of History, and Modern History Research Centre, as well as the Catholic-run Yuan Dao Study Society.
 

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Chinese authorities demolish Way of the Cross in Henan

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Way of the Cross at the well-known Our Lady of Mount Carmel sanctuary, the popular pilgrimage site in China’s Henan province was demolished by authorities at 8.00pm on June 5 in the latest clampdown on religious freedom.
 
Local government officials removed images of Jesus at the site in the village of Tianjiajing in the diocese of Anyang.
 

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Authorities put the squeeze on temporary churches

HONG KONG (UCAN): A circular from the State Administration for Religious Affairs requiring organisers of religious activities at temporary venues to seek guidance from government-recognised Church organisations has raised concerns in China for fear it means greater control will be exercised over unofficial Catholic communities and Protestant house churches. 
 

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We will not be silent for silence belongs to the culprits

HONG KONG (SE): Around 900 people came together for a prayer service on the evening of June 4 at the music kiosk of Victoria Park to remember of the victims in the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing nearly three decades ago and to pray for a peaceful vindication.
 
Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former bishop of Hong Kong, said people gathered not only to mourn the martyrs killed 29 years ago, but also to pray for those whose religious freedom is being suppressed in China at present. 
 

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Bloggers disappear ahead of Tiananamen anniversary

HONG KONG (UCAN): In the run-up to the 29th anniversary of the Tiannamen Square Massacre on June 4, several Chinese bloggers went missing, or were compelled to take a government arranged holiday.
 
According to a June 4 press release from Reporters Without Borders, Chinese authorities arranged for certain bloggers to take vacations under police escort before this year’s anniversary.
 

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Clashes as church land is sold off by government

Hong Kong (UCAN): An 800 square metre plot of disputed land next to the Immaculate Conception Church in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, China, was sold at auction for commercial use by government authorities on May 28, following clashes between Catholics and security officials.
 
The day before the auction, dozens of security guards, police and public security officers clashed with Catholics on the site, a source reported. 
 

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Chengde bishop launches massive expensive complex

HONG KONG (UCAN): The illicitly ordained Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai of Chengde, has taken charge of what is claimed to be the biggest cathedral in northern China, which is part of a 70 million yuan (86.2 million) complex that also includes a convent and a residence.
 
Construction of the 15,000-square-metre complex was mostly paid for by the Hebei Provincial Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Hebei Catholic Administration Commission. Less than half of the amount was collected by Bishop Guo, an unnamed source said 
 

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Statue of saint taken down in Hebei

HONG KONG (UCAN): A statue St. John Wu Wenyin, a martyr, was removed from a Catholic church in Hebei province as Chinese authorities continued their clampdown on religious freedom.
 
The statue of St. John Wu Wenyin was unveiled at Dongertou Catholic Church, Yongnian parish, Handan Diocese, on May 3, but a source said that authorities asked the church to remove it after the ceremony “stirring up a commotion on the internet.”
 

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Praying for the Church in China without missing the point

Michel Chambon
 
May 24 has since 2007 been a day of prayer for the Catholic Church in China. At that time, Pope Benedict invited all Catholics, especially Chinese Catholics, to embrace the special day by renewing their faith in Jesus and striving for unity.
 
Echoing this, Pope Francis has encouraged prayers asking that Chinese Catholics make concrete gestures of “fraternity, harmony and reconciliation.”