News Briefs

The Catholic Church in India is asking for a government commission to review the marginalization of Christians with respect to poverty, land ownership and education. • Taiwan’s Cardinal Paul Shan will make a historic visit to China, the first contact between Catholics on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in more than 60 years. • Australia’s former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Feb. 11 described his 2008 apology about the “stolen generations”—children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent taken from their families by government and church agencies—as an experience akin to a “sacramental” sign. • Bishop Augustine Hu Daguo of Shiqian died on Feb. 17 at the age of 89. As a bishop of the so-called underground church, he was prohibited by Beijing from serving his diocese in the eastern part of Guizhou, and his movements were restricted for many years. • The Vatican reports that there are 5,000 more Catholic priests globally in 2009 than there were in 1999. • Sherry Rehman, a member of Parliament from the Pakistan People’s Party, who recently presented a motion to modify the blasphemy law, was herself charged with blasphemy on Feb. 17.

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