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Clampdown on law firms in China

HONG KONG (SE): A number of lawyers in China, estimated to be in the dozens, who have taken on human rights briefs, are still waiting for their licences to practice law to be reviewed, Radio Free Asia reported on June 6.

Legal procedure in China requires all lawyers to undergo a review of their licences each year. 

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Church losing grip on choice of bishops for China

HONG KONG (UCAN): Church observers in China have reacted strongly to a revision of the regulations surrounding the election of bishops, which they say grants the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China, a virtual government body which is not recognised by the Holy See, overarching control over who can be put forward for consideration as the head of a diocese.

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China-Church relations snag Ricci canonisation

VATICAN (Agencies) : Part of the beatification depends on the political relations between China and the Vatican,” Father Anton Witwer, the postulator of the cause of the Italian Jesuit missionary, Father Matteo Ricci, explained.

Father Witwer told EWTN News in a May 15 interview, “It is possible to wait, even if all things are clear for a beatification, something like five years, to see if the political situation has changed and is more favourable for the cause,” 

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Evolution of Chinese constitution 
on the freedom of religion

HONG KONG (SE): Our media carries many stories about the repression of religion in mainland China, yet the authorities in Beijing continually point to the constitution as saying that China has freedom of religious belief.

However, at the same time, we are also told that teaching religion to children under 18 is forbidden, which would seem to contradict the freedom of belief claim.

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Shanghai marks Day of Prayer for China in low key style

HONG KONG (SE): The traditional May 24 celebration of the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, which has been adopted as a national feast day for the Church in China under the name of Our Lady of China, took place in muted circumstances at the Sheshan Shrine on the outskirts of Shanghai with the usual procession and Mass.

Although taking place for the first time in many years in a diocese with no bishop, around 2,500 people gathered at the shrine on top of the mountain to celebrate the feast.

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They stay in the darkness because they can’t see in the light

So, now we have it out of their own mouths. China’s leaders have good reason not to declare their assets, but how long can they stay secret?

A recent report notes that China’s leaders don’t want any transparency about their wealth, assets and financial interests. Why, you might ask? Not because of any concern about privacy, that’s for sure.

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Pope to donate money to Sichuan relief

HONG KONG (SE): Pope Francis will make a donation of US$30,000 ($232,350) to the earthquake victims in Sichuan province, China, Robert Cardinal Sarah, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the papal relief fund, announced on the opening day of an international conference on new forms of poverty in society held at the Caritas Institute of Higher Education in Tseung Kwan O on May 16.

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Easter baptisms have high adult contingent

It took eight years of struggle for Maria (not her real name) to decide to receive baptism, but finally she made the decision and received the sacrament at Easter this year.

“I grew up in a military camp, listening to revolutionary songs and watching revolutionary movies all through my happy childhood,” she says.

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Beijing cuts Pyongyang’s bank transfer account

SEOUL (AsiaNews): The Bank of China has closed the account run by a financial institution that North Korea has been using to transfer funds from China to Pyongyang.

The use of the transfer account has been blamed by the United States of America of assisting Pyongyang to finance its controversial nuclear weapons programme.

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Beijing says national rights review is state secret

HONG KONG (SE): China’s is due to face a review of its human rights record at the United Nations in Geneva on October 22 this year, but Radio Free Asia reported on April 3 that preparations of the report to be submitted by Beijing to the hearing are being conducted behind closed doors.

It adds that there has been a nationwide crackdown on people who have tried to take part in the preparation process.

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