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Beijing wants standard practices in charity work

WUHAN (UCAN): The State Administration for Religious Affairs in China launched the first nationwide Week of Religious Charity on September 17.

This comes as a follow up to a document released by the government in February encouraging religious groups to be involved in charitable activities.

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Unscrupulous developers suspected of church arson

Xiantao (UCAN): Members of the Catholic congregation in a small city in Hubei province, central China, report that their church was burned down in mid-September and they believe the fire may have been deliberately set.

The church was the only building left in Caibang village, near the city of Xiantao, after local Catholics held firm when developers paid off locals last year to move out and make way for new apartments.

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Jiangyin welcomes 294 new people to Church

NANJING (SE): In the first eight months of 2012, the parish of Jiangyin of the diocese of Nanjing, China, welcomed 294 new members to its community after a long journey of preparation.

Faith Press reported that more than 400 catechumens are taking part in the parish catechumenate programme and 294 of them have so far received the sacrament of baptism.

A spokesperson for the parish said that as it is the Year of Faith, we continue to promote our outreach.

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Chinese founded diocese thrives today

ZHOUZHI (Agencies): More than 2,000 people gathered to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the diocese of Zhouzhi in the Shaanxi province, China, on August 22, the feast of the patron of the diocese, Our Lady Queen of Heaven.

Fides reported that the oldest priest in the diocese was principal celebrant at a solemn Mass of thanksgiving for the 80 years of the journeying in the faith and the mission of the community, which was always accompanied by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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Shanghai seminaries closed in fallout over new bishop

SHANGHAI (SE): A brief note sent to the two seminaries in Shanghai diocese from Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian on August 21 simply states that the opening of the academic year in September will be delayed until further notice.

Shanghai diocese is home to two seminaries, the Sheshan Major Seminary on the outskirts of the city and the Tailaiqiao Minor Seminary.

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Vatican must play ball too Guangdong official says

HONG KONG (UCAN): Lu Guocun, a senior public servant from the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, has rebuffed claims by the Vatican that the Communist regime does not recognise the distinction between Church and state.

Lu, who is now in his 70s, is accusing the Vatican of playing politics and overlooking the faith life of Chinese Catholics.

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China’s priests critical of Beijing response to United States report

HONG KONG (UCAN) : Several priests have spoken out against comments made by the Foreign Ministry in Beijing on August 2 dismissing a claim made in the 2011 Report on Religious Freedom from the State Department of the United States of America (US) that the state of religious freedom in China is going backwards.

The State Department report, released on July 30, identified eight countries of particular concern, including China.

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Another advocate for human rights indicted for subversion

 HONG KONG (UCAN): Police have arrested and charged Zhu Chengzhi, a friend and supporter of deceased labour unionist, Li Wangyang, with inciting subversion of state power, according to a report from the Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

The Hong Kong-based human rights agency announced on August 9 that it has received a copy of the indictment against Zhu Chengzhi, issued by the Shaoyang City Public Security Bureau, on July 25.

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Can China make it on the world stage?

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): As China is being touted more and more on the world stage as a world power, with some suggesting it stands on a par with the United States of America (US), Liu Peng, the director of the Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences in Beijing, is asking whether China can truly lay claim to that title or not.

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Cardinal calls on United Kingdom to observe day of prayer for China

SWANWICK (SE): A three-day conference attended by over 300 people at Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire, England, on A new world order: China today and our response, ended with a call from Keith Cardinal O’Brien to have May 24 marked all over the United Kingdom as a day of prayer for the Church in China on July 23.

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