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Local paper touts Christmas in China

HONG KONG (SE): “In China, Christianity is still a minority religion, but it has come a long way since first being introduced by missionaries in the seventh century. Over the past 200 years, it has gained significant influence,” a short article published by the Global Times in China in the after shadow of the Christmas celebrations notes.
 

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Bishop for reconciliation breathes his last

HANZHONG (AsiaNews): Bishop Matthias Yu Chengxin, the retired coadjutor from Hanzhong in Shaanxi province died on December 7 at the age of 90.
 
His funeral was celebrated on December 12 in the church at Xiaozhai in the county of Chengguo, the 28th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop.
 
Bishop Yu belonged to the unofficial community of Hanzhong, but it was Bishop Louis Yu Runchen, from the official community in Hanzhong, who presided at the funeral ceremony.
 

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International importance of Church in China

HONG KONG (SE): The celebration of Christmas in China has gained popularity as its consumer society has taken off, but while it may be more of a commercial affair, Christians use its popularity to point people towards Christ.
 
Brent Fulton, from ChinaSource, says that in churches, rented banquet rooms and even on university campuses, carefully planned celebrations clearly present the gospel.
 
This is in stark contrast to two decades ago.
 

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Christmas may be huge in China but what’s in it for religion?

BEIJING (SE): “Santa Claus was descending into China from the sky. Due to the heavy smog, he fell to the ground, but no one dared help him up. While he was still lying in the snow, his bag was ransacked for the Christmas goodies and his reindeer and sleigh taken away by the Chengguan (City Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau). Therefore, there will be no Christmas this year!”
 

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Tops for the decorative but missing the big prize

HONG KONG (SE): In what has become known as the Christmas Village of China the climbing mercury and the sizzling earth of high summer signals the height of the peak season for Santa hats, tinsel and LED-lit Christmas trees.
 
Located a little over an hour away from Shanghai by bullet train in the province of Zhejiang, Yiwu is an inland city of around 1.2 million people and is recognised as producing nearly two-thirds of all the decorations that give the Christmassy feel to the world for the big December 25 celebration.
 

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Beijing becoming gated community

BEIJING (UCAN): In what is slowly turning Beijing into a gated community where only the right people are welcome, tens of thousands of internal migrant workers are being forced out of the capital of China in an ongoing drive to rid the streets of what the government terms its low-end population.
 
In the wake of a fire that broke out in a low income area of Daxing on November 18, the authorities began a purge to evict migrant workers.
 

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Ghosts and gods or Lenin and Marx

HONG KONG (SE): Chen Xi, a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party has condemned cadres for believing in ghosts and gods rather than putting their faith in Karl Marx and Joseph Lenin.
 
Writing in the Communist Party official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, on November 16, Chen accused some officials of becoming politically and morally degraded, and of looking to religion, superstition and western-style democracy to supplement a fading faith in socialism.
 

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China puts ban on Vatican tours

HONG KONG (SE): Travel agencies in China have received an instruction not to sell any package tours that include the Vatican City on their itinerary, a report from Radio Free Asia on November 22 claims.
 
Radio Free Asia quoted an employee of Phoenix Holidays International Travel Agency as saying that the reason given is that there are no diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Beijing.
 

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Rights advocate dies in neglect

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Yang Tongyan, the 56-year-old recipient of the 2008 PEN Freedom to Write Award, died on November 7 from an aggressive form of brain cancer after being released from Nanjing Prison on medical parole.
 
He underwent an operation on August 23 on a brain tumour and had almost completed a 12-year sentence for posting anti-government articles online in 2006. It was his second stint in prison, already having spent a decade behind bars for counter-revolutionary crimes and taking part in the 1989 massed rally in Tiananmen Square.

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Christian influence on growth of freedom in China

BERKLEY (SE): “Since the early 20th century, China has undergone dramatic social changes, including two revolutions, multiple wars, dramatic political turmoil, and rapid economic development in recent decades,” Yang Fenggang, from Purdue University, said in a paper delivered at the Berkley Centre for Religion, Peace and World Affairs in California on October 31.