In a land area of approximately 13,400 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the townships of Botou, Huanghua, Hejian, Renqiu, the counties of Yanshan, Wuqiao, Dongguang, Suning, Mengcun Hui Autonomous Region, and Haixing, Nanpi and Xianxian.
Cangzhou is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, People's Republic of China. Cangzhou's urban center has a population of approximately 488,600 (2004), while the prefecture-level administrative region in total has a population of approximately 7 million. (The population of the whole country is about 1.3 billion). Most residents are Han Chinese. But there is also a sizable population of the Muslim Hui minority.
Cangzhou's history goes back to 1856, when the Holy See divided the Catholic mission in Tcheli (Zhili) province, which no longer exists, into three regions. Southeast Tcheli vicariate was entrusted to French Jesuits and renamed Xianxian vicariate in 1924. It was elevated to a diocese in 1946.
In 1981, a meeting of Catholic representatives in Hebei decided to rename the dioceses in the province in line with the government's administrative divisions. Xianxian diocese was thus renamed Cangzhou diocese.
The diocese has more than 200 churches with 70,000 Catholics. It has 260 nuns and 110 priests, and runs Xavier Minor Seminary and a convent.
According to the Pontifical Yearbook 2002, the diocese had in 1950 a number of 62,000 Catholics representing 2.8 percent of the population of 2,200 000.
There was a total of 119 priests (35 diocesan, 84 religious) serving 221 parishes. The male Religious numbered 135 and the female Religious 85.
Bishop Li Liangui, a young rector recently ordained Bishop of Cangzhou (Xianxian) with many Catholics and vocations, has expressed his desire to raise the standard of clerics and nuns in the diocese.
Expressways conncect Cangzhou with Beijing. Cangzhou's Huanghua Harbour is the end of a main Chinese coal shipping railway. There are Beijing Capital Airport and Tianjin Airport close to Cangzhou.
Cangzhou's climate is mild to warm in the summer to cold in the winter, with snowfall.
Cangzhou's urban center is a heavily industrial city but the city's administrative territory also includes strongly agricultural areas. The North China Oil Field is within Cangzhou City's jurisdiction. Cangzhou also encompasses a large fishing port and the modern, coal-exporting Huanghua Harbour.
Cangzhou is located to the south of Beijing, about about 180 kilometers from the Chinese capital, near the coast of the Bohai Sea of the Pacific Ocean.
According to the Cangzhou city government website, the world-famous Cangzhou martial arts and acrobatics have been the gems of traditional Chinese culture. The Book of Songs, the most ancient poem collection in China, was just spread from Cangzhou to all over the world. Thanks to the abundant natural resources and rich cultural heritage, Cangzhou enjoys the fame of "five hometowns and one pearl", as Hometown of Martial Arts, Hometown of Acrobatics, Hometown of Casting, Hometown of Golden-Thread Dates, Hometown of Ya Pear, and Baiyangdian Lake has been praised as Pearl of North China. At present, there are 6 intangible cultural heritages of Cangzhou being protected by the State.
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