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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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China tightens grip on religion with bureaucratic overhaul

Hong Kong (UCAN): China’s Communist Party has further stepped up control over all religions, dissolving its long-standing State Administration for Religious Affairs bureau and handing its functions over to the feared United Front Work Department.
 

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Dialogue between Christianity and China indispensable

VATICAN (CNS): “If we see only our own reasons and insist on our own experience as the norm, thereby denying the basis of other people’s experience, then disagreement, quarrels and even wars will be inevitable,” between individuals, communities, nations and religions, the former bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon told symposium on Christianity and China.
 

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Cross removals in Henan

HONG KONG (UCAN): The cathedral of Shangqiu South Church in Henan province, China, became the first Catholic church in the province whose crosses were removed by street office and district committee officials, a source, who requested anonymity, reported on March 9.
 
“The officials said the largest one at the highest point of the cathedral had to be removed but church staff disagreed,” the source said.
 

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Pro-independence and pro-Hong Kong graffitti in Guangzhou

BEIJING (AsiaNews/RFA): Posters and graffiti have appeared on the streets Guangzhou, in China’s Guangdong province, calling for independence, not just for neighbouring Hong Kong, but for Guangzhou itself, which shares the Cantonese language and culture.
 
Graffiti with slogans like, Independence for Guangzhou, Go Hong Kong! have been photographed in a number of public places in the city and lies at the heart of the Pearl River delta economic area.
 

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Chinese bishops break silence on Vatican deal

HONG KONG (UCAN): Chinese bishops have broken the taboo about rarely talking about Sino-Vatican relations by backing a proposed deal on episcopal appointments.
 
The bishops, who have government recognition, spoke at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC) held recently in Beijing. They said the agreement is developing in a good direction and expressed support for the president, Xi Jinping, saying their citizenship takes priority over religion and beliefs.
 

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Priests in Changzhi told to give stipends to dioceses

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Ding Lingbin of Changzhi in northern China, has asked priests in his diocese to hand over their stipends to be used to subsidise needy parishes and avoid secularisation.
 
The bishop told a pastoral meeting that the diocese would regulate collection and use of stipends under a unified standard.
 

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Church scarred and marred in Xinjiang

HONG KONG (UCAN): Authorities demolished the crosses, statues, bell towers and other features of a the Yining Catholic Church of the Urumqi Diocese in Xinjiang, northwest China on February 27. State-instructed workers removed the exterior religious features using a crane. A source said that no reason was given for the action but it is believed to have been carried out because the religious features were “incompatible with Sinicisation.”
 

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