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Tragic fire at orphanage prompts basic questions

HONG KONG (UCAN): A fire broke out on the morning of January 4 at an informal orphanage killing seven children who were being cared for by a woman in Lankao county, central Henan province, in China.

The tragic deaths have prompted an outrage around the country with discussions revolving around the existence of unregistered orphanages.

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Doubts China will stop indiscriminate detention

HONG KONG (UCAN): Government critics say they remain skeptical that the government will improve rights standards within the justice system, following an official announcement on January 7 that the government would overhaul the use and function of labour camps.

State media quoted Meng Jianzhu, the secretary of the Central Politics and Law Commission, as saying that China would end the practice of sending people to labour camps, a policy which denies alleged offenders a trial.

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Church in China opens doors at Christmas

SHIJIAZHUANG (Agencies): The solemn Christmas celebrations of the Catholic community in China was characterised by three themes; love of neighbour, witness to faith and the life and development of faith, Fides reported.

You and I together was the theme of the Eighth Christmas Charitable Evening organised by Jinde Charity in Shijiazhuang, attended by around 400 volunteers and benefactors who have been involved with what is the biggest charitable organisation in the country for years.

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China honours far-sighted missionary

SWANSEA (Agencies): A delegation from the Union Hospital in Wuhan, China, travelled to Swansea in England in order to erect a memorial to the Welsh founder of the institution, Griffith John, to mark the centennial of the death of the 80-year-old deceased missionary.

The delegation from what today is a major medical research centre in China, donated a bust to the town where John was born on 14 December 1831. It will be displayed prominently in the city museum.

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Hope for human rights or window dressing?

ROME (AsiaNews): New laws that came into effect in China on 1 January 2013 provide for people picked up by the police to have immediate access to a lawyer; immediate notification of relatives of their whereabouts; and a limit on detention without trial to six months.

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Shanxi seminary to close for two years

TAIYUAN (UCAN): The embattled Montecorvino Major Seminary in Shanxi province, China, which has been embroiled for years in internal leadership disputes, will suspend operations for two years while structures and staff are reorganised.

Local Church people told UCA News that Bishop John Huo Cheng, from Fenyang, the former chairperson of the board, announced the closure on January 7.

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Putting others first

 

 

Putting others first can be such a natural, beautiful part of life.

The heart benevolent and kind the most resembles God

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A Christmas letter to an embattled bishop

 

SHANGHAI (SE): A Catholic person in Shanghai has penned a letter to Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who is currently confined to the seminary at Sheshan on the outskirts of the city, stripped of his status as a bishop and suspended from exercising his priestly ministry for two years by government authorities, telling him that he is not alone, but is very much in the prayers of the faithful people of his diocese.

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Government hijacks control of Wuhan diocese

 

WUHAN (AsiaNews): While world attention was focussed on the confinement of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin in Shanghai, the government hijacked control of the Wuhan diocese, with the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association quietly removing the long time administrator, Father Shen Guo’an, from his position.

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Two faces of a Chinese Christmas

 

HONG KONG (SE): There is a Chinese way to celebrate Christmas, according to a report published in the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, on December 24. “On Christmas eve, Chinese youngsters embrace the festival like westerners, but not for the religious reasons or for family reunion.”

Xinhua reports that young people approach the feast more like a festival and an opportunity to take a break from their busy lives.

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