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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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Diocese of Bengbu

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Diocese of Bengbu
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Bengbu is a prefecture-level city situated towards the north-central part of Anhui Province. The name Bengbu stands for "Oyster Wharf" in Chinese. Renowned for freshwater pearl fishery, Bengbu is also known by the name ‘Pearl City’. Huaihe River Culture has its origins in the city.

The city had a population of 3,164,467, as per the 2010 census, with the metro area having nearly a million residents in four peripheral towns. Huaiyuan county and Fengyang county in Chuzhou will be part of the city in near future.

History

The Dongyi people, known collectively as the Huaiyi, settled in Bengbu during the ancient times. A series of wars between the Chu State and the Wu State ruined the Dongyi state of Xu. Zhongli was another Dongyi State that belonged to the Huaiyi Confederation. Excavations that were carried out during 2005-2008, helped find the tombs that belonged to the royalty of the Zhongli State.The city of Bengbu has remained the nerve centre of water and land communications in Anhui Province, Bengbu being the main distribution center for the Huai River basin.

It was near Bengbu that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) won a major battle in 1948, against Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces, during the civil war.

Transportation

The high-speed Beijing-Shanghai Railway, or the Jinghu Railway serves the Bengbu South Railway Station. The latter has a 20,000 sq. metre space that has been designed by architects of the University of Southern California. The high-speed railway has hourly direct trains to Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities.

Bengbu Airport is a dual-use airport, operating mainly for military purposes, with provisions for future civilian use.

Climate

Bengbu has a subtropical climate with cold winters and hot, humid summers. It lies on the Qin Ling-Huai River boundary, which is a transitional climate zone (TCZ). The monthly average temperatures range from 1.8 °C in January to 27.9 °C in July, with mean annual temperature recorded at 15.43 °C. Annual rainfall occurs mainly during June-August in Bengbu, and the city receives around 2,036 hours of bright sunshine every year.

Geography

Located towards the southeast of North China Plain, the urban area of Bengbu is divided into two, namely the greater Bengbu which is situated on the southern bank of Huai River, and little Bengbu which is situated on the northern bank. On the eastern side of the urban area, lies the Dragon Lake.

Economy

Industry
Bengbu’s food industries have had a strong presence in the Anhui Province, with them making up for a 44% of Bengbu’s industrial production. Engineering works, textiles, glass making, chemicals and electronics are some of the other industries functioning in the area, with light textile occupying a prominent position.

Agriculture
Bengbu produces oil, vegetables, meat and aquatic products in abundance. Peanut remains the major produce of the area. The pomegranates from Huaiyuan county as well as the crabs from Wuhe county, are famous in China.

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