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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Apostolic Prefecture of Kompong-Cham

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Apostolic Prefecture of Kompong-Cham
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Kompong-Cham was established as an apostolic prefecture by the Holy See on Sept. 26, 1968.

The seven provinces -- Kompong-Cham, Kratie, Stung Treng, Rattanakiri, Mondolkiri, Svay Rieng and Prey Veng -- belong to the prefecture, with Monsignor Andre Lesouef as its first apostolic prefect.

Church properties were destroyed and many priests and lay Catholics were killed during the civil war in Cambodia from 1970 to 1979.

The prefecture has 3000 Catholics out of a total population of 5,763,685, and has 14 priests in its 27 parishes.

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The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia.
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