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Compiled by Steve Jalsevac

China Declares Christian ‘House Churches’ a ‘Cult,’ Advocacy Group Reports
China reportedly has launched a new crackdown on “house churches,” Protestant congregations that do not belong to the country’s state-sanctioned, “patriotic” church organization. In an ominous development reported by the China Aid Association (CAA), a U.S.-based group that advocates for Chinese Christians, authorities allegedly have labeled the house church movement a “cult.”

China trying to prove it is ‘master of the Church,’ missionary priest warns

Father Bernardo Cervellera, a longtime observer of Sino-Vatican affairs, is deeply troubled by recent moves made by China’s communist authorities. “We are back in the 1950s,” said Fr. Cervellera. “Honestly, I would say that with these elections we are taken back to the time of Mao Zedong and the foundation of the Patriotic Association,”

Chinese government defends control of Catholic church
- American Thinker
A spokesperson for the People’s Republic of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs said on Wednesday that the Vatican’s criticism of the recent National Congress of Chinese Catholics was “imprudent and ungrounded.”  Members of the CCPA are forbidden to acknowledge the Pope as the universal pastor of the Catholic Church, as Beijing will not tolerate any loyalty to any entity for any reason outside China. Thus, there are millions of “underground Catholics” in China who worship outside the CCPA at great risk.

Rift widens as China lashes out at Pope
- Times of India
The Chinese government has challenged the role played by the Pope and suggested that the Vatican was misguiding Catholics in the country. The statement, which follows Vatican’s criticism of the official church in China, indicated an intensification of the old conflict between the two sides.

“Who is actually using coercive measures and demanding Catholics betray their conscience? Isn’t it crystal clear?” a spokesman of the State Administration for Religious Affairs said Wednesday. He was responding to Vatican’s criticism of the decision of the official church to anoint a Bishop after a recent meeting.

China says Vatican must repair rift over bishop - Google News
The Vatican bears responsibility for restoring dialogue with China’s government-backed church after its criticism of leadership changes here frayed ties, a Chinese church official said Friday. China’s official Catholic church named new leaders at a conference not recognized by the Vatican, which last week condemned the election as a violation of religious freedom and human rights.

China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951 shortly after the communist seizure of power. Dialogue has been used to ease tensions, but a main sticking point has been the Chinese church’s insistence that it — not Rome — has the right to appoint bishops.

Popes, Atheists and Freedom - Wall Street Journal
Secularists should recognize that the pope’s fight is their fight. In these times, the pope’s agenda is the civilized world’s agenda. The pope’s agenda is individual freedom. The reality of the modern Church’s interests aligned with the world’s best interests emerges forcefully in the recently published second volume of George Weigel’s magisterial biography of John Paul II, “The End and the Beginning.”

Days after Benedict XVI chastised China before thousands in St. Peter’s Square last week, a Chinese newspaper run by the People’s Daily replied to his defense of Christians there: “The Vatican has to face the fact that all religious beliefs are free in China, as long as they do not run counter to the country’s laws.”

“Face the facts” sums up nicely the worldview and foreign policies of China, Iran and Russia. Get over it. John Paul said no. Benedict again says no. Benedict’s fight for freedom and that of recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo are the same.

Inflation in China will cause the collapse of the regime
by Wei Jingsheng - Asia News
To make a few people wealthy, the communist government keeps most of the population in poverty. If they really have the welfare of their people at heart, Beijing must allow the revaluation of the Yuan and should open the market to the West.

Chinese Internet users hit 450 million mark, raising fears in government - Asia News
Increasingly, news are spread online, including those about abuses by the authorities, which have responded by boosting censorship and controls to nip in the bud all forms of dissent organised via the net. China’s booming online population has turned the Internet into a forum for citizens to express their opinions in real time in a way rarely seen in a country where the traditional media is under strict government control.