ASIA/CHINA - At Easter more than 22 000 baptisms were administered in the continental Catholic community

Shi Jia Zhuang (Agenzia Fides) - According to statistics that the Study Center of Faith in He Bei managed to collect up to 19 April, which was sent to Fides, during Easter 2012, a total of 22,104 baptisms were administered in the continental Catholic communities. Despite this result, "the community is fully aware of the need for further work of evangelization." "It is true that we have dioceses that do not focus all baptisms at Easter, according to the cycle of catechism or other solemnities of the Church – underlines the head of the Study Center of Faith - but we cannot but consider that more than 22 000 baptisms at Easter, in a Catholic community like ours, Chinese, which has over 6 million members, represent only 0.33%. Instead, in the diocese of Hong Kong, which counts 360 000 faithful, there were 3,500 baptisms at Easter, equivalent to 0.97%. So we need to reflect and do more to promote evangelization."
Also according to the statistics of the Study Centre, which started this process of collecting data in 2007, this represents an important documentation for the history of the Chinese Church and, the 22,104 baptized at Easter, belonging to 101 dioceses, 75% are adults. In He Bei province, considered a stronghold of Chinese Catholicism, there were 4,410 newly baptized, 615 more than last year, and three-quarter adults. Some dioceses, however, do not celebrate all the baptisms only at Easter, like Shang Hai. In 2012 there were 379 baptisms at Easter in Shang Hai, but at the end of the year the total figure of baptisms could exceed 1,500. Moreover, according to Sister Li Guo Shuang of the Study Center, "there are still some dioceses or communities which due to communication difficulties, have not yet reported data to us. So we must emphasize that the figures are not complete, they may still increase. " (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 20/4/2012)

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