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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 Uijeongbu

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Diocese of Uijeongbu
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The Uijeongbu diocesan territory covers 2,564 square kilometers and includes Uijeongbu, Goyang, Guri, Namyangju, Paju, Dongducheon, Yangju cities and Yeoncheon-gun county in Gyeonggi-do province.

Uijeongbu diocese was carved out of Seoul archdiocese on June 24, 2004. It belongs to the ecclesiastical province of Seoul.

Every year Uijeongbu diocese holds a special Mass to pray for families separated as a result of the North-South division of the Korean peninsula at Imjingak.

Population

In Uijeongbu diocesan jurisdiction, the population is 3,114,536 at the end of 2017. (Some 5.2 percent of the whole population 51 million in the country) Most residents are ethnic Koreans.

Language

The standard Korean is in use. English, a mandatory subject in schools, can be spoken and understood in tourist areas. All the traffic signs are expressed in English and Korean.

Climate

Uijeongbu diocese falls within the temperate  zone and has the four distinctive seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The yearly average temperature of Uijeongbu is 12 degrees Celsius. The annual precipitation in the region averages 1,100 millimeters. Most of the rainfall is concentrated in the rainy months (monsoon period) of June through September.

Topography

Uijeongbu is located at the middle-western Korean peninsula or north of Seoul. Most of the diocese is northern part of Gyeonggi-do province which is relatively undeveloped area.

Recently the DMZ attracts attention as ecological preservation and peaceful interchange area between North and South Koreas.

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