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Friday, February 24, 2017
China: news blackout follows beating of nuns
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 The Vatican's missionary news agency Fides has expressed alarm over the beatings of nuns in Xian, China, and the subsequent news blackout. Sixteen nuns of the Congregation of Franciscan Missionaries of the Sacred Heart were insulted and beaten by some 40 men on November 23, reported AsiaNews. They had tried to stop the demolition of a diocesan school, which the government had illegally sold to a construction company. No Chinese newspaper reported the news. The Holy See protested the attack in a communiqué by spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls. Fides agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples said that, "after being the first to publish detailed news on the violence used in Xian against the defenceless nuns, Faith, the best-known Chinese Catholic site of the Catholic community of 190, was blacked out during several hours on November 30." "Other Chinese Catholic sites that published news of the incident suffered the same fate," Fides added. When the sites reappeared, there was no trace of the reports on the nuns' beating.
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