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Almost 50 thousand new Catholics baptized in China in 2017


AP Photo I Mark Schiefelbein

Daniel Esparza - published on 02/18/18

Data published on the eve of the Chinese New Year shows "a new missionary impulse," according to Agenzia Fides

According to data sent by the “Faith Cultural Society” to Agenzia Fides, 48,556 faithful were baptized in 2017 in China. The data, though, may not tell the whole story, since Catholic communities living in rural areas are hard to reach. However, according to the report shared by Agenzia Fides, it “reflects the vitality and the missionary dynamism of a community that fully lives faith.”

The data reveals significant demographic differences in Chinese Catholicism. For example, in the province of He Bei, which is known for being one of the “strongholds of Chinese Catholicism” (as described by Fides), more than 11 thousand people were baptized. In contrast, the small Catholic Tibetan community registered 11 baptisms.

The report reads that, “in spite of the encouraging figures and the great missionary commitment in local communities throughout China, we must always feel called to a renewed missionary commitment. Evangelization in China is a long and difficult path to carry out,” as quoted by Fides. It also invites Catholic communities in China to keep their parish registers in order, to make the data gathering process easier and more effective.

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