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    10/02/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN

    The Holy Year of Mercy is an opportunity to rebuild relationships and ties with those who live faraway. Reconciliation with unlawful bishops will be difficult. Pope Francis would also like “to come to China." Protestants become Catholic to receive forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. A divided Hong Kong needs mercy.

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    10/02/2016 - CHINA

    Even in retirement, Communists “cannot take part in religious activities”

    The Communist Party’s Organisation Department, which controls the 88 million party personnel, issued new rules banning retired party members from engaging in religious activities. Politburo member Yu Zhengsheng called for “more effort in building a religious ideology with Chinese characteristics”.

    10/02/2016 - TAIWAN

    Search for Tainan quake survivors continues amid hope and despair

    by Xin Yage

    Four days after the earthquake 219 people extracted alive from the rubble; 46 confirmed dead; 94 are still missing. Engineer and two employees arrested for having built collapsed complex without the necessary safety standards. Population and security teams dig amid despair and hope.


    09/02/2016 - VATICAN – CHINA

    The Missionaries of Mercy and China’s unlawful bishops

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The mandate of the Missionaries of Mercy also covers China, where excommunicated bishops could be readmitted. Yet, this would be difficult to do because it would require a public statement that Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association would slam as “Vatican meddling in China's internal affairs". Likewise, "sinicisation" would bring the risk of dividing the Church even more.

    09/02/2016 - HONG KONG

    Police open fire, hawkers launch bottles in Mong Kok fish ball revolution

    by Paul Wang

    The clashes erupted after police intervened to clear the traditional Hong Kong street food vendors. 24 people arrested, including members of anti-China groups. Police accused of using too much violence.


    08/02/2016 - MACAU

    Macau’s new bishop stresses unity with God, as well as the mission in a gambling city and China

    by Xie Qircan

    A few days after taking office, Mgr Stephen Lee Bun-sang spoke to AsiaNews about the challenges his episcopal ministry faces. They include gambling, Macau’s main industry, as well as the unity of its Catholic community. He also talks about the Jubilee of Mercy, relations with the Chinese Church and the evangelization of Asia. “The work of evangelization of Macau Diocese through history was important for the Far East. Now we have to rekindle that missionary spirit in the small community of believers of Macau.”

    08/02/2016 - TAIWAN

    Tainan earthquake, two people pulled alive from rubble. Pope expresses sorrow

    In a telegram, Francis expressed sorrow for the victims and their families and closeness to the survivors. Official death toll rises to 37 with 527 wounded. Rescuers race to free as many people as possible, the authorities will open an investigation to find out the reasons for the collapse of the building complex.

    07/02/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: stop the war in Syria and "dare" an inner change to defend life

    At the Angelus Francis launches appeals also to eradicate new forms of slavery and sends greetings of peace and serenity for the Chinese New Year. He asks for prayers for the meeting with "my brother Kirill." "The essentials" of Christianity is "the essence of Christianity: to spread the regenerating and gratuitous love of God, with attitude of welcome and mercy to everyone, so that everyone can meet the tenderness of God and have the fullness of life."

    05/02/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Pope’s interview on China: enthusiasm and skepticism among Chinese Catholics. Some priests face police pressure

    by Maria Chen

    State newspapers and radio report on Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. There are those who dream of an impending papal visit to China. Underground priests subjected to interrogation. Appreciation for "the olive branch" extended by the Pope and for his pointing out the value of Chinese culture. But skepticism surrounds Beijing leadership’s response. The dialogue between China and the Vatican cannot bring results, because there are different interests at play, both political and religious. Diplomatic relations cannot come at the cost of the freedom of the Church and the sacrifices of its martyrs. The Chinese Church is growing.

    04/02/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church

    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.

    04/02/2016 - MALAYSIA

    Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu: support for the family, against chaos, on Chinese New Year

    In his message for the lunar New Year, which falls on 8 February, Mgr John Wong says, the family is the “foundation of society. When family units are broken, the order of society and the world will be in chaos”. Materialism and selfishness are the first enemies of the family. According to Chinese tradition, New Year family “reunion dinner was a day not to be missed but to be greatly treasured.”

    03/02/2016 - CHINA

    New Year paralyses Guangzhou station with 100,000 people stuck waiting for a train

    Hordes of passengers swamp the main railway station in China’s southern metropolis because bad weather has led to major delays and cancellations. Thousands of passengers arrived two days in advance for fear of losing their train. The national railway authority expects to carry 332 million passengers this season for some 2.91 billion-passenger trips.

    03/02/2016 - CHINA

    Over 7500 people die of cancer everyday in China

    The data released by the National Cancer Centre in Beijing reveals an overall decrease in mortality rate, but an increase in cancer diagnosis. In 2015, 2.8 million deaths. Lung cancer is the most common, with pollution and active smoking among the first causes.


    02/02/2016 - VATICAN – CHINA

    Pope Francis reiterates his affection for China and Xi Jinping

    The pontiff praises China’s "wisdom" and "greatness", and sends greetings to Xi Jinping for Chinese New Year, which marks the start of the Year of the Monkey. He also says that we “must not be fearful” of China, but engage the country in dialogue to preserve world peace. He urges "mercy" for the country’s recent past and action forward to change reality. In the interview, the journalist chose not to mention the dialogue between the Vatican and China or religious issues.

    02/02/2016 - TIBET – CHINA

    Fearing protests, Beijing imposes a lockdown on Tibet

    Chinese authorities ban foreign travellers from the autonomous region between 25 February to 30 March, a period Tibetans use to mark past popular uprising against Maoist forces, the Dalai Lama’s flight, and the protests against the Beijing Olympics. Restrictions are also imposed on local residents who cannot travel beyond ten kilometres from their place of residence.

    02/02/2016 - CHINA

    Family of "suicidal" priest demands new investigation

    The family of Fr. Pedro Yu Heping, also known as Wei Heping, were able to see the autopsy report only once: the text speaks of a cerebral hemorrhage, but adds that there are no visible injuries on the body. After the protests of family members, the police replied that "the case is closed." Card. Zen: "In China there is not only suicide, but also 'being suicidal'. The death of this priest, like the Gospel grain of wheat will bear fruit in abundance".


    01/02/2016 - CHINA

    Zhejiang, Protestant pastor arrested: he opposed demolition of crosses

    by John Ai

    The Protestant minister Gu Yuese (official) is the head of Chongyi, the largest Protestant community in the country with about 10 thousand faithful. He was arrested by police on charges of "embezzlement". He had publically opposed the demolition of crosses in Zhejiang and defended the rights of the church. His arrest could kick off a new wave of persecution against Christians.

    31/01/2016 - VATICAN – PHILIPPINES

    Pope to Cebu: Christ’s presence, a promise of joy and an invitation to mission

    sIn a video-message for the conclusion of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, Francis stresses the joy of the meeting that "brought together so many people from the vast continent of Asia,” where bearing witness to Jesus takes place “through the testimony of lives”.  The next Congress will be held in Budapest, Hungary, in 2020.

    31/01/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: The only privilege in the eyes of God is not to have any privileges

    Speaking about today’s Gospel, Francis focused on the temptation "to which religious men are always exposed, to which we are all exposed, and from which we should definitely stay away. What is this temptation? It is the temptation of considering religion as a human investment so that we start to ‘bargain’ with God for our own self-interest." Young members of Rome’s Azione Cattolica were in the square for the annual Peace Caravan. The pope pleaded for people living with leprosy, a disease that still “affects mostly the poorest and the most marginalised”.

    30/01/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the mission and mercy are the foundation of the faith, and every Christian is a Christopher

    Francis opens the jubilee general audiences with a reflection on the "wonderful circularity" between mission and mercy. The actual sign that we met Jesus "is the joy we feel in communicating it to others”. For the pontiff, “this this is not proselytising. It is giving a gift. I give you what gives me joy.” The pope ends calling on the crowd to pray for Ms Elvira, who worked at Casa Santa Marta, and was called by the Lord.

    29/01/2016 - CHINA

    Guangzhou: three dissidents convicted in a "defiant message from the Xi government”

    The Chinese Human Rights Defender group slams the verdict against lawyer Tang Jingling and activists Xinting Yuan and Wang Qingying who exercised “their basic human rights”. The United Nations had requested their release of more than a year ago. The prisoners were subjected to physical and psychological torture during their 20-month pre-trial detention.

    29/01/2016 - CHINA

    Qufu: church construction on hold because it would overshadow Confucius

    by John Ai

    The construction of a Protestant church continues to be controversial in the philosopher’s hometown. Some Confucian scholars openly opposed the project five years ago. Now the issue is back in the news. The building itself is still in planning stage. Locally, religions co-existed for centuries.

    26/01/2016 - CHINA

    Swedish activist Peter Dahlin released and deported from China

    Peter Dahlin was in jail since 4 January on charges of "damaging national security". The NGO he founded provides assistance of various kinds to Chinese lawyers who intend to work in rural areas of the country. Stockholm is "very concerned" about the fate of another of its nationals in Chinese prisons, Hong Kong editor Gui Minhai.

    25/01/2016 - TIBET – CHINA

    To win party approval, a lama “doesn’t even need to be a Buddhist’

    “Students for a Free Tibet” organise a mock recruitment drive for China’s so-called 'Authentic Living Buddha list’. Wearing a mask of Chinese President Xi Jinping, they rallied against government interference in Tibetan Buddhism. To be recognised as an “authentic lama”, all it takes is being “’Anti-Dalai Lama’,” and “‘Pro-Chinese Communist Party’.” For them, Beijing has “no right to interfere in religious affairs”.

    25/01/2016 - LAOS – CHINA

    Two Chinese dead, one wounded in bomb attack in Laos

    Little is known yet about the attack, but one of the people involved worked in the mining industry. Relations between Beijing and Vientiane are based on natural resource development and shared ideological outlook since both are ruled by a one-party Communist regime. This year, the US president is expected in the country.

    25/01/2016 - MACAU

    New Macau bishop: Faith and Chinese values live together for the well-being of society

    by Victoria Ma

    It is the wish expressed by the new bishop, Mgr. Stephen Lee Bun-sang during the ceremony of installation in his new diocese. The pastoral commitment "will start from the family and the education of young people, key to a harmonious society." Relations between China and the Vatican not purpose of his appointment, but "I will keep an eye on". The Church of Macau is and will be a help to the Catholics of China ".

    23/01/2016 - CHINA

    Fujian: company tells family to give up “on treatment” and let burnt worker die

    The victim, a migrant worker from Yunnan, fell into a vat of boiling slurry after 13 hours of non-stop work. He has burns on 99 per cent of the body, and has had one leg amputated. His employer has not paid the medical fees for months. The family now has a debt of 90,000 yuan.

    22/01/2016 - CHINA

    A Han Chinese activist in Xinjiang sentenced to 19 years for criticizing the government

    Zhang Haitao was born in Henan province. He moved to China's northwestern province to seek his fortune. After he was arrested and brutalized for no reason, he became a human rights activist. His criticisms online turned the authorities against him. For his lawyer, the harsh sentence he received comes as a surprise. His wife, Li Aijie, and their one-month child could be thrown out of their own home. "There is nothing to be afraid of anymore," Li said. "Look at the situation we’re already in. How worse can it get?"


    21/01/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Bishop Meng: The Nine Holy Doors of Taiyuan enkindled by Chinese martyrs’ faith (Gallery)

    Holy Doors open in the cathedral, three places of pilgrimage and a number of churches where the Taiyuan martyrs were born. Killed in 1900, they were canonized by John Paul II in 2000. At least 10,000 faithful attended the opening of the Holy Door at the Portiuncula shrine in Banshishan, 1,700 meters above see level with temperatures 16 degrees below zero. The works of mercy include care for parents and neighbors, and helping those in need. The mission feeds hope.

    21/01/2016 - CHINA

    China’s GDP growth could be only 5% as strong doubts are raised on Chinese statistics

    The stated GDP increase of 6.9% in 2015 is based on data manipulated by provincial authorities. They tend to inflate figures on investment, consumption, wages, trade, projects, and tax revenue. Xinhua reports allegations to this effect.

    Editor's choices

    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church

    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.

    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist

    Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."


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