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» 12/03/2003
www.asianews.it Now Available in English and Chinese
by Bernardo Cervellera

As of today, Dec. 3 2003,  www.asianews.it can be read in English and Chinese. We are very encouraged by the success of the AsiaNews on-line edition in Italian. In the previous month of November alone, there were 150,000 visitors to our site, whose articles were diffused among major Italian press agencies. Thanks to the re-launching of our news by Catholic press agencies such as MISNA and Zenit, AsiaNews articles have also reached other parts of the globe.

 

The need for an English edition is evident. More than 70% of our world's communications occur in English as the lingua franca, or common language. Being able to offer AsiaNews articles in this language allows us to communicate with major English and American news publications, in addition to churches in America and Africa. Above all, it permits us to communicate with the churches in Asia which use English as an international communications tool. In this sense, AsiaNews articles on Asian ecclesial communities allows these very churches to share and know the fate and mission of their sister communities on the continent. Thus, information becomes a means of communion for them.       

Yet we are even more enthusiastic about releasing our on-line edition in Chinese. We believe that this commitment is the most free-giving and missionary aspect of our news agency. It is free-giving, not only because it is economically onerous, but because it is nobly dedicated to China and her people.

 

Nowadays, curiosity about Christianity, the Church and pope John Paul II is widespread among the Chinese populace –above all in university environments. A sociological study conducted by China's Open University (Renmin Daxue) demonstrates that 61.5% of Peking's students are interested in Christianity and want to be believers. The majority of them search for information on the Christian faith by way of literature. Since university students have internet access, we think that AsiaNews will help them to be familiar with the impact Christianity has on Asian and Chinese society. Already many Chinese intellectuals think China can be saved by Christianity, so as not to explode into a soulless market or a dictatorship that humiliates the individual.

 

Hence our dedication is a missionary gesture. Among the articles we present in today's edition concerning the Peoples Republic of China are interviews with a priest who was the first ever Chinese religious to receive a doctorate since the 1950s. In addition, there is an interview with recent converts. They have all become priests and deacons and emphasize the urgent need for stable formation, an education dedicated to studying the faith on a deeper level in terms of culture adapted to Chinese customs and modern life presently invading their country.

 

This urgency becomes even more heightened because of two facts:  

 

1)      the Chinese government is empowering and promoting atheism in schools and the mass-media (even in television soap operas) without giving any space to religious education;

2)      China's youth want to know more about Christianity, but Christians have not spread their faith to Chinese culture due to past and recent persecution. This fact often renders them silent when confronting questions about the faith.

 

The AsiaNews Chinese web-site serves as a means of information. Yet it is also serves as a way to make educational tips and suggestions via news, testimonials, reflections, and the words of the pope and church personalities –all of which all bolster the Church's mission in China.

 

We wish to place the beginning of our mission on the internet under the protection of St. Francis Xavier, whose feast day we celebrate today (Dec. 3) and who died desiring to go to China. He is the patron of foreign missions and is venerated in China and throughout Asia.

 

This effectiveness -at a distance- adapts well to our brand of news service, while being far yet near to the heart of the Church in China and her people.

 

 


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See also
03/27/2004 Italy
There's hope today for Christianity in Chinese culture
12/13/2003 china macau
Wu Li, painter, poet and Jesuit, in the Church of the Early Qing
by Gianni Criveller
12/16/2004 CHINA
No more tickets to pay for midnight mass
07/24/2004 TAIWAN - CHINA
March to defend rights of aboriginal people
by Monica Romano
07/03/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
Beijing removes Papal Letter to Chinese Church from web

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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