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    » 12/03/2003, 00.00

    www.asianews.it Now Available in English and Chinese

    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

    27/03/2004 Italy
    There's hope today for Christianity in Chinese culture


    13/12/2003 china macau
    Wu Li, painter, poet and Jesuit, in the Church of the Early Qing


    16/12/2004 CHINA
    No more tickets to pay for midnight mass


    24/07/2004 TAIWAN - CHINA
    March to defend rights of aboriginal people

    Invaluable contribution by missionaries to the promotion of indigenous cultures.

    03/07/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
    Beijing removes Papal Letter to Chinese Church from web
    Several Chinese Catholic portals uploaded the letter in simplified Chinese after its publication, but government officials “convinced” them to remove it. All the same, the letter reached the community of the faithful through different channels.



    Editor's choices

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    Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    CHINA - VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.


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