#ShortNews: China to require national anthem, raising of flag at Mass, other religious ceremonies

The official Catholic Church in China website quoted a report from the website of the Central United Front Work Department saying that the Sixth Joint Conference of the Country’s Religious Groups was held on July 31 in Beijing.

A joint statement was issued by all nine government-sanctioned religious organizations: the Buddhist Association of China, Chinese Taoist Association, Islamic Association of China, Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church in China, National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, China Christian Council, China Young Men’s Christian Association Countrywide Association and the Young Women’s Christian Association.

They propose raising the national flag at all religious venues to help religious figures and believers strengthen their national consciousness and civic awareness, deepen their political, ideological and emotional recognition of the Communist Party and the country, and adhere to religious Sinicization.

Read the nine major points proposed in the initiative: https://www.ucanews.com/news/chinas-religious-venues-urged-to-fly-the-flag/82993

#ShortNews: Nearly 100 Iranian Christians in legal limbo because of Trump administration’s refugee policy

When the Iranian woman and her husband sold their belongings and traveled to Austria with their child two years ago, she says they believed they would be joining their families in the United States.

“When I was at the [U.S.] visa interview, the officer congratulated me,” she told me through an interpreter. “I even … received a letter … two to three weeks later, saying we had been approved” for resettlement in the United States. But months later, their hopes of moving to the U.S. were devastated when she and 86 other Iranian religious minorities, also in Austria, received a letter in February from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that said their applications had been rejected “as a matter of discretion.”

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/08/trump-refugees-iran-christians/566534/

#ShortNews: Thousands of UK churches convert to renewable energy

The Church of England warned the issue was “one of the great moral challenges of our time”. It said thousands of Christian and non-Anglican places of worship were now using 100% renewable electricity. Salisbury, Southwark, Liverpool and St Albans cathedrals are among 15 to have signed up to green electricity tariffs.

More than 5,500 churches across the UK, including several famous cathedrals, have converted to renewable power to help combat climate change.

With an average annual church electricity bill of around £1,000, it is estimated British churches have diverted more than £5m from fossil fuels to clean energy providers.

The number of cathedrals running on 100% renewable electricity has been boosted by the Church of England’s procurement initiative Parish Buying changing its bulk energy purchase to 100% renewables.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-45047544