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2014-05-26

ASIA/CHINA - 20 000 baptisms celebrated at Easter in the Catholic community in mainland China

Shi Jia Zhuang (Agenzia Fides) - "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9: 16), in the spirit of Paul's exhortation, the Catholic community in mainland China reaped the fruits of evangelization at Easter 2014. A total of 20,004 baptisms, of whom 70% were adults, who in addition to baptism received other two sacraments of Christian initiation: Confirmation and Eucharist. According to information gathered by Fides Agency, these data were published by Faith of He Bei and by Faith Institute for Cultural Studies, which since 2007 have drawn up these statistics in spite of the difficulties of communication and the particular situation of some dioceses and parishes, thanks to the dedication of the people who are committed to this work.
The province of Hebei, a stronghold of Chinese Catholicism, is back in first place for the number of baptized: Xing Tai with its 1,481 baptisms is in first place, followed by the diocese of Handan with approximately 1,000 new Catholics and those of Cang Zhou and Heng Shui. In the southeast coastal area, the diocese of Wen Zhou in Zhe Jiang Province welcomed 641 baptized. In the rural area, the Diocese of Changzhi in Shanxi province welcomed 125 new adult Catholics. In the remote and mountainous area of the west, Gui Zhou 237 people were baptized, nearly 100 more compared to last year (there were 148), the Diocese of Lan Zhou had 108. However it must be remembered that baptism is administered in the community, not only at Easter, but at other times of the liturgical year, such as Christmas, Pentecost or during the Marian feasts. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 26/05/2014)

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