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Chinese officials balk at visas for World Youth Day travel

July 19, 2016

The Chinese government is discouraging young people from traveling to Poland for World Youth Day (WYD), the AsiaNews service reports.

About 2,000 young people from China are expected in Krakow for the opening of WYD festivities on July 26. But many have been denied visas, especially if they have explicitly asked for permission to travel to Krakow. Some young Chinese Catholics had planned to combine attendance at WYD with pilgrimages to Catholic shrines in Europe; they too had trouble obtaining visas.

In several Chinese cities, including Beijing, priests of the "underground" Catholic Church have been refused permission to travel to Krakow. The government sees the "underground" Church, loyal to the Holy See, as a conduit of "foreign influence," unlike the "official" Catholic Church, which defers to the government-backed Patriotic Association. 

 
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