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Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Church in China

Capital : Beijing
Population : 1.42 billion
Catholics : 13 million (1 %)
Jurisdictions : 20 Archdioceses, 95 Dioceses, 29 Apostolic Prefectures, One Apostolic Administration
Major Religions : Folk religions and Taoism 73.56%, Buddhism 15.87%, Christianity 2.53%, Islam 0.45%, Other 7.60%
The earliest documented presence of Christianity in China is seen in Nestorian missioners who came to the then Chinese capital of Chang’an (Xi’an). They were welcomed by the emperor of the Tang Dynasty in 635 AD.

The first Catholic mission to China was led by Franciscan friar Giovanni da Montecorvino, who arrived in the present day Beijing in 1293. The Russian Orthodoxy was introduced in 1715 and the Protestants started their mission in China in 1807.

A nationwide survey conducted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2010 showed that there are at least 23 million Protestants across the country, accounting for 1.8 percent of the 1.3 billion people in China.

Officially, the mainland China has 6 million Catholics. The Holy Spirit Study Centre of Hong Kong diocese estimates that China has some 12 million Catholics, including the “unregistered” Catholics, who reject the government-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

Christian charity and social services actions are seen as necessary in the social welfare of the nation. In recent years, the government has started encouraging religions to participate actively in social services.

China stopped official diplomatic relations with the Vatican after the Communist Party came to power in 1949. The country has more than 100 dioceses, but it does not have a Vatican-recognized bishops’ conference or an official Catholic directory.

The split between the “unregistered” Church community and the government-approved “open” Church community has made the hierarchical issues more complicated. The “unregistered” Catholics followed the Church hierarchy before 1949, but many provincial borders have changed over the decades.

Moreover, the “open” Church community now reorganizes individual dioceses, without distinguishing archdioceses, while the Vatican does not recognize some of the newly created dioceses. Political reality makes the diocesan directory for China extremely difficult to compile.

The UCAN Directory will follow the current practice of providing a list of dioceses that are prevalent among Catholics in the mainland.
Anhui Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Beijing
Archdiocese
Chongqing
Archdiocese
Diocese
Fujian Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Gansu Province
Archdiocese
Diocese
Guangdong Province
Archdiocese
Diocese
Guangxi
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Guizhou Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Hainan Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Heilongjiang Province
Apostolic Administration
Apostolic Prefecture
Henan Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Hong Kong
Diocese
Hubei Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Hunan Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Inner Mongolia
Archdiocese
Diocese
Jiangsu Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Jiangxi Province
Archdiocese
Diocese
Jilin Province
Diocese
Liaoning Province
Archdiocese
Diocese
Macau
Diocese
Ningxia Hui
Diocese
Qinghai Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Shaanxi Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Shandong Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Shanghai
Diocese
Shanxi Province
Archdiocese
Diocese
Sichuan Province
Diocese
Tianjin
Diocese
Xinjiang Uyghur
Apostolic Prefecture
Yunnan Province
Apostolic Prefecture
Archdiocese
Diocese
Zhejiang Province
Archdiocese
Diocese
Archdiocese of Anqing
Archdiocese of Fuzhou
Archdiocese of Guiyang
Archdiocese of Hainan
Archdiocese of Hangzhou
Archdiocese of Harbin
Archdiocese of Hohhot
Archdiocese of Jiamusi
Archdiocese of Kunming
Archdiocese of Lanzhou
Archdiocese of Macau
Archdiocese of Nanchang
Archdiocese of Nanning
Archdiocese of Qiqihar
Archdiocese of Xining
Archdiocese of Xinjiang
Archdiocese of Xinjiang-Urumqi
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