Tangshan diocese covers six districts, two county-level cities and six counties. They are Lubei, Lunan, Guye, Kaiping, Fengrun and Fengnan districts, Zunhua and Qian'an cities, and Luan, Luannan, Laoting, Qianxi, Yutian and Tanghai counties.
Tangshan has a history of more than one hundred years. Its name derives from Dachengshan Mountain in the urban city. The city suffered an earthquake of magnitude 8.2 (7.8 from official report) at 3:42 a.m. on July 28, 1976, which resulted in many casualties. The official death toll was 255,000, but many experts believe the actual number of fatalities was two to three times that number, making it the most destructive earthquake in modern history. As a result of the earthquake, most of the town had to be rebuilt.
As of 2010, Tangshan has a registered population of 7.57 millions, an increase of 238,000 people from the year before. Non-farming population is slightly higher than the farming population also by around 230,000 people.
Mandarin and Tangshan dialect are in use in the diocesan territory.
In 1899, the Apostolic Vicariate of eastern Chi-li was detached from the Apostolic Vicariate of northern Chi-li. It was renamed into Yongping in 1924. It was elevated to Yongping diocese in 1946. After the revival of religious activities in 1980, Yongping diocese was renamed as Tangshan, where the bishop's house was located. However, the underground community continues to refer to the diocese as Yongping. Photo on top: Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Tangshan diocese. Built in 1989, the church can accommodate 2,000 people and its bell towers are 53 meters tall
There are the Sannuhe Airport and the Tangshan New Train Station in Tangshan. With the expressway, it takes only one hour from Tangshan to reach Beijing, Tianjin or to the closest edge of northeastern China. For sea transport, Tangshan has Tangjing, Caofeidian and Fengnan ports. Caofeidian port is also expected to being turned into a tourist spot with the building of a cruise port. The city has also planned to build light railroad and underground metro systems for its 12th five-year plan.
Tangshan has a humid continental climate, cold but dry winters, and hot, humid summers. In January, temperatures in the daytime often remain below freezing, and in July, consistently rise above 30 ?C (86 ?F), sometimes to 35 ?C (95 ?F). Well over half of the annual precipitation falls in July and August alone.
Tangshan is an important city with heavy industry in northern China. Its outputs include machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, textiles, glass, petroleum products and cement. It has been a coal-mining center since late Qing dynasty, as Guangdong merchant Tong King-sing opened the first coal mine using modern techniques in Kaiping in 1877. Since the construction of the Caofeidian Project (a sea reclamation project to construct the Caofeidian Industrial Zone), it has hosted large iron and steel plants, chemical projects, and electricity plants. Historically, modern industry in China first arose in Tangshan. The first railway in China was built from Xugezhuang to Tangshan in 1877 and the first fire-resistant material manufactory, and the first and largest cement manufactory were constructed in Tangshan as well.
Tangshan is located in the central section of the circum-Bohai Sea region, facing the Bohai Sea to the south. Lying on the North China Plain, Tangshan is adjacent to the Yanshan Mountains to the north, borders the Luan River and Qinhuangdao to the east, and to the west adjoins with Beijing and Tianjin. Because of its location in the northeast of Hebei, it is a strategic area and a corridor linking Northern China and Northeastern China.
Tangshan No. 1 Middle School (founded 1902) is one of the most famous high schools in China. Several universities also find their homes in Tangshan, such as Hebei United University, Tangshan Normal College, and Light Industrial College of Hebei Polytechnic University.
Tangshan is famous for its Ping Opera, which appears around 1909. It is the second largest opera genre following Beijing Opera. One will also find it interesting to watch Tangshan Shadown Play and to hear the Laoting Drums. These three cultural items were called "Three Flowers of Jidong (eastern Hebei)."
On every first Friday of the month thousands of Catholics flock to Holy Cross Church of Cherpunkal in Kerala, India to revere Infant Jesus and St. Thomas, the founder of the church. The church stands on the southern bank of Meenachil River. This fabled church, also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)Church, belongs to Catholic Diocese of Palai of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
St. Joseph’s Church in Lahore is the oldest Catholic Church in Pakistan that has flourished since the 19th century despite deadly sectarian violence in recent years. The church at Sarfaraz Rafiqui Road in Lahore was established as a wooden structure during the British colonial era, on Oct. 31, 1842, to provide pastoral care to the British soldiers. It completed 180 years this year.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.