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Nearly 50,000 baptisms in China

VATICAN (CNS): The Catholic Church in China registered 48,556 baptisms in 2017, according to a February 15 report by Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
 
The figures are likely incomplete, given the difficulty of procuring data from Catholic communities in the rural parts of China, report said.
 

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China demands Malaysia repatriate Uyghurs

Hong Kong (UCAN): “We must remember that the Uyghurs in question have been held at immigration detention facilities for nearly four years now without charge or access to legal representation—an egregiously long time to spend effectively in limbo after escaping China,” Peter Irwin, a project manager for the World Uyghur Congress, said regarding the fate of 11 Uyghurs in Malaysia who face possible c to China.
 

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Fears grow of a clampdown in Henan

HONG KONG (UCAN): Christians in China’s central Henan province were banned from displaying religious couplets over the Chinese New Year.
 
Government officials visited villages and towns to deliver notices ordering people not to follow a practice that has become a tradition during the festival.
 
Local Catholics expressed concerns that a new round of religious oppression is being aimed at the province.
 

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The Holy See, China and the question of sovereignty

by Michel Chambon
 
In the past few weeks, rumours have spread about a possible agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China. In an uncommon move, the Vatican has even asked two bishops from the unofficial Church to shift aside for two official bishops initially appointed by Beijing.
 

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Caution versus compassion impasse continues

HONG KONG (SE): Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former bishop of Hong Kong has not spared efforts and words to explain how Vatican officials do not understand the true nature of Chinese leaders and that their rush will harm the church in China. 
 
His recent meeting with the press at the Salesian Mission House, Shau Kei Wan, on February 9 highlighted that China does not respect religious freedom and worry that Pope Francis may involuntarily betray the underground side of the Catholic Church in China.
 

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New book on Jesuits in China

SYDNEY (UCAN): A first in publishing on China, the two-volume A Call to Mission: A History of the Jesuits in China 1842-1954 was launched in Sydney, Australia, on February 19.
 
Jesuit Father David Strong, the author, spent 15 years writing and researching material covering three continents in this work which covers the second phase of the Jesuit engagement with China. 
 

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New regulations squeeze violates China constitution

HONG KONG (UCAN): With China’s new regulations for religious affairs having come into effect on February 1, the squeeze is on. Minors have already been banned from entering places of worship in several regions, while Protestant house churches in Henan province have been forced to close (Sunday Examiner, February 11). 
 
Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, former bishop of Hong Kong, said that one source informed him there would be no Mass at an unofficial church in Shanghai.
 

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Holy See-China accord in the offing but at what cost?

HONG KONG (SE): An accord between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China “is almost made” and could be signed in the coming months, thereby opening a new phase in the relations between them, according to a senior Vatican source informed on the negotiations between the two sides.
 

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Young people the first victims of new religious regulations

BEIJING (AsiaNews): the revised version of China’s Religious Affairs Regulations went into effect on February 1. First published last October, they provide for close monitoring of all official Church communities and fines, arrests and expropriation for members of unofficial communities. Among the first victims of this clampdown are young people.
 

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Vatican laments confusion and controversy over Church in China

HONG KONG (SE): Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See Press Office, has denied recent allegations of the Vatican selling out the Catholic Church in China in a statement published on Zenit.org on January 30.
 
The Vatican spokesperson denounced the widespread news of a presumed difference of thought and action between the Holy Father and his collaborators in the Roman Curia on issues relating to China.
 

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