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Diocese of Shangqiu

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Diocese of Shangqiu
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Shangqiu Diocese administers 6 counties (Xiayi, Yucheng, Zhecheng, Ningling, Suixian, Minquan); 2 districts (Liangyuan, Suiyang), 1 county-level city (Yongcheng) with a total of 30 churches. There are more than 20,000 Catholics in Shangqiu Diocese, with 4 seminarians, 20 nuns and 28 priests, including the underground clergy. 


The diocesan territory has a population of 8,100,000.


Henan dialect and Mandarin Chinese are in use in the diocesan territory.


On June 19, 1928, Apostolic Prefecture of Guide (now Shangqiu Diocese) was established from the Apostolic Vicariate of Kaifengfu. It was elevated as Apostolic Vicariate of Guide on May 18, 1937 and further elevated as Diocese of Guide on April 11,1946. 

In Shangqiu city, there are two churches, namely Shanqiu South and North Churches. Shangqiu South Church - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - has a longer history and it was built in 1924. The church building covers 200 square meters, providing a room capacity for about 160 people. By the end of 2005, a two-story new church was built to the south of the Cathedral. The dimension of the new church is 600 square meters and it can seat more than 600 people.

Shangqiu North Church was established in 1994. Its area is 400 square meters, holding a capacity of 400 people. 


Transportation in Shangqiu is very convenient. Since the completion of the east-west running Longhai railway in 1916, Shangqiu has been a local transportation center. This standing was greatly enhanced following the construction of the Beijing-Kowloon (Hong Kong) railway in 1996, which crosses with Longhai railway at Shangqiu. Nowadays, Longhai railway has become the Chinese segment of the larger "Asia -European continental landbridge", which runs from the sea port city of Lianyungang to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 

On the other hand, the road transport is also convenient and getting even better. The north-south Beijing-Zhuhai national route 105 and east-west direction Lianyungang-Khorghas (Xinjiang) national route 310 also cross at Shangqiu. Highway traffic is fast-developing too. The Shangqiu-Kaifeng segment of the Lianyungang-Khorghas highway is already in use. Since Shangqiu lies at a confluence of several major railway tracks and highways, it is a major regional transportation hub.


The climate is typical of a temperate, continental monsoon climate, with windy warm spring, hot summer, cool fall, and cold winters. The region has sufficient sunshine and moderate rainfalls. The annual average temperature is around 14 degrees Celsius. 


Situated on the North China Plain, Shangqiu is exceptionally rich in natural resources and it is renowned for its agricultural production. The most important agricultural products are wheat, maize, cotton, sesame, vegetables, fruit, tobacco, timber and livestock. In the city of Shangqiu, production bases of crops and livestock are set up. Shangqiu is also called the "Home of Paulownia". It has a rich stock of Paulownia, which reaches 8,000 square meters. 


Shangqiu City is situated in the eastern region of Henan province. It is at the junction of the provinces of Henan, Shangdong, Jiangsu and Anhui. It administrates 6 counties (Xiayi, Yucheng, Zhecheng, Ningling, Suixian, Minquan); 2 districts (Liangyuan, Suiyang), 1 county-level city (Yongcheng). The area of Shangqiu spreads over 10,704 square meters. 

Shangqiu has an advantageous geographic position. It touches the borders of Shandong Province in the north, neighboring Kaifeng (Central Plains) in the west, embraces the Yangtze and Huai rivers in the south, and an area near a sea port in the east. Shangqiu is an important trading and regional commercial centre and it is the confluence of economic zones of "Asia-European continental landbridge" and Beijing-Kowloon Railway. It also serves as the bridgehead of Henan province under the local government policy of leading economy from the eastern to the western part of the province.


Shangqiu Normal University, Shangqiu Professional Training College, Shangqiu Medical College and Shangqiu Science and Technology College are located in the diocese's jurisdiction.


Shangqiu is an ancient city with a rich history. It was the first capital of the Shang dynasty (16th-11th Century BC). Lying at the heart of the North China Plain, Shangqiu benefits from a deep cultural tradition. The first astronomical observatory in China, Ebo Tai, was established in Shangqiu. 

Yingtian Shuyuan, one of the four largest official education agencies in north Song Dynasty, was located in Suiyang district of Shangqiu. The Suiyang old city, which was built in 1511 during the Ming Dynasty, is one of the best protected traditional cities in China, and was enlisted as one of the famous historical cities in China by the central government in 1986.

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