Ningbo (Agenzia Fides) - A total of 69 representatives from “religious circles” are taking part in the sessions of the 14th National People's Congress which opened in Beijing on March 4th in the presence of President Xi Jinping. The 69 representatives of the religious communities account for 3.18% of the total number of participants in the sessions of the Congress, which totaled 2,172 participants. Among the 69 members of the various denominations, 25 are members of the national Buddhist community, 12 are Taoists, 12 are members of the national Islamic community, 11 are members of the national Catholic community, and 9 are members of the national Evangelical Protestant community. The Congress, whose sessions last seven and a half days, ends on Saturday afternoon, March 11th.
The National Conference meeting in Beijing is the actual organ of the Chinese Political Parliament, which represents the political demands of the social and political sectors and groups in the People's Republic under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party within the framework of the national political system. The Congress is the highest Chinese institution with an advisory function.
The 11 Catholics attending the current sessions in Beijing include Bishops Joseph Li Shan, Joseph Shen Bin and John Fang Xingyao. Joseph Li Shan is Archbishop of Beijing, Joseph Shen Bin presides over the Diocese of Haimen (Jiangtsu Province) and John Fang Xingyao is Bishop of Linyi (Shandong Province). (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 8/3/2023)