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Paralleling religion and terrorism

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Chinese government has tightened the screws on religious freedom in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region with new regulations providing for parents and guardians to be reported if they force children to take part in religious activities.

The new regulations in the Muslim-majority state were passed by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional People’s Congress on September 29 and will come into effect on November 1.

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Rights with characteristics?

“EVERYONE HAS THE right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance,” Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says.








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Rights with characteristics?

“EVERYONE HAS THE right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance,” Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says.








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Flare up over demolished Church property

HONG KONG (SE): A group of around 40 people from the Anhui and Henan gathered to demand compensation on October 18 from the government after a building which they claim belongs to the Church in Tianjin City was demolished by the authorities without notice.

The two-day protest began when Father Ma Yantao, the manager of diocesan properties in Tianjin, informed Bishop Joseph Zhang Yinlin that the 973-square metre property on Fujian Road had been demolished.

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A disobedience of faith

HONG KONG (SE): A maverick priest from the unofficial Church community in Zhengding in Hebei, Father Paul Dong Guanhua (see page 12), claims that in engineering his own ordination as a bishop he is modelling himself on Bishop Joseph Fan Xueyan, the first bishop in China to ordain another clandestinely without a specific mandate from the Vatican (1981).

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Illicit bishops in unofficial Church

HONG KONG (SE): It has long been known that the Vatican has had various problems with some sectors of the unofficial Church communities in China.

The driving forces behind Pope Benedict XVI’s removal of a special permission to ordain bishops without reference to the Vatican in his Letter to Chinese Catholics of 2007 was that with the changing times there was no longer a pastoral need, as well as to promote unity with the official communities.

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300-year-old church celebrated in China

XI’AN (UCAN): With a splash of red silk, Bishop Anthony Dang Mingyan and three other bishops unveiled a tablet in the grounds of St. Francis Cathedral in Xi’an marking the 300th anniversary of the church in Shaanxi, China, and installed a relic of its patron, St. Francis of Assisi, at the culmination of what was a four-day gala event beginning on October 1 and concluding on October 4.

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Bishop Shao brought home

WENZHOU (AsiaNews): Reports from China say that police took Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who has been on forced holiday in the northern region of Qinghai, back to home to Wenzhou on October 8.

The reports say that the bishop and his police entourage arrived at 4.30pm. His secretary and diocesan chancellor, Father Paul Jiang Sunian, who has also been exposed to the country air, was with him.

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Pope’s gift from China

ROME (SE): The gift from China that Pope Francis spoke of with journalists during his return flight to Rome from Baku in Azerbaijan on October 2 is a silk print drape inscribed with ideogrammes from the historical Christian Stele of Xi’an.

It depicts the long narrative inscribed on the famous stele, which is also referred to as the Nestorian Stele, which dates back to 781 during the Tang Dynasty, and documents the first 150 years of the presence of Nestorian Christians in the Middle Kingdom.

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Chinese bishop meets with pope

HONG KONG (UCAN): Pope Francis met with Bishop Joseph Xu Honggen from mainland China during a public audience at St. Peter’s Square on October 5 in the first public meeting between a pope and a bishop resident in China since the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949.

Photographs published by L’Osservatore Romano show the bishop kissing the pope’s ring, chatting with him one-on-one and the two waving to the camera and the crowds together. 

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