Government authorities in Shanxi, China, are ordering people who receive government assistance to replace religious symbols in their homes, including pictures of Jesus, with pictures of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping. Refusal to comply results in the assistance being taken away. 

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The Calgary Police Service has launched an investigation into the vandalizing of a bronze Jesus statue by the front doors of a city parish. 

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MEXICO CITY -- Inocente Orlando Montano, the former Salvadoran army colonel accused of participating in "the decision, design or execution of the killings" of six Jesuits in 1989, testified in his Spanish trial that no order was ever given to eliminate the priests.

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MEXICO CITY -- An expert witness has testified that the slayings of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in 1989 was "premeditated" and preceded by campaigns to discredit the Catholic Church and the Society of Jesus.

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Boston police are investigating an arson attack on a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary Saturday night, the second attack in the U.S. on a statue of the Virgin Mary in two days, and during the same weekend in which two Catholic church fires are being investigated for arson.

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- A man crashed his van through the doors of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Ocala, Florida, early in the morning July 11 and once inside, the church's pastor said, the man set the interior of the church ablaze and drove off.

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MEXICO CITY -- A former Salvadoran army officer has testified that the "high command" gave orders to eliminate Jesuits priests during the country's civil war. He also said the Central American country's president would have known of the crimes to be committed and did not intervene.

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Without immediate action from the international community, Christians in northern Iraq could be endangered with extinction, warns a new report from the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- By defacing and toppling a statue of St. Junipero Serra in Sacramento, protesters may have meant "to draw attention to the sorrowful, angry memories over California's past," but "this act of vandalism does little to build the future," Bishop Jaime Soto said July 5.

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Aid to the Church in Need and its 330,000 donors world-wide are responding to the changing world of religious persecution.

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HONG KONG -- Communist authorities in territory covered by the Anhui Diocese removed crosses from the top of two church buildings, sources told ucanews.com April 27. The sources said they fear more such actions.

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VANCOUVER -- A peaceful spiritual event in Vancouver became a traumatizing one when at least a dozen people hijacked an online prayer group with shouting and obscene images.

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WASHINGTON -- A priest who serves as director of the Justice, Development and Peace Commission in his diocese in northern Nigeria cited an ongoing series of religious freedom violations in his region of the country, which is majority Muslim.

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OXFORD, England -- Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes in Burkina Faso as Christian communities are targeted in a spiral of Islamist killings.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Nearly 160,000 security personnel will be deployed to try to make Christmas and New Year celebrations in Indonesia safe, reported ucanews.org.

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