A policeman stands guard in front of a group supporting China's recent white paper over the control of Hong Kong, during a mass protest demanding universal suffrage in Hong Kong July 1, 2014.(REUTERS/Liau Chung-ren)
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Students and civil servants in China's Muslim northwest, where Beijing is enforcing a security crackdown following deadly unrest, have been ordered to avoid fasting during the month of Ramadan.Statements posted Wednesday on websites of schools, government agencies and local party organizations in the Xinjiang region said the ban was aimed at protecting students' well-being and preventing use of schools and government offices to promote religion. Statements on the websites of local party organizations said members of the officially atheist ruling party also should avoid fasting. Similar bans have been imposed in the past on fasting for Ramadan, which began last weekend.The ruling party says religion and education should be kept separate and students should not be subject to religious influences.
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