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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 Chanthaburi

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Diocese of Chanthaburi
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The Diocese of Chanthaburi was created on Dec. 18, 1965. It is located in eastern central Thailand near to the Cambodian border. The diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Bangkok.

The diocese stretches over an area of 34,000 square kilometers, covering the provinces of Chanthaburi, Chonburi, Prachinburi, Rayong, Sa Kaeo and Trat, as well as areas east of the Bang Pa Kong River in Chachoengsao, and Nakhon Nayok except for the district Ban Na.

One of the most interesting buildings in Chanthaburi Diocese is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. This 280 years old historical church on the left bank of the Chanthaburi River has been reconstructed many times to accommodate more worshippers. The last time was in 1906.

The cathedral was built in Gothic style by migrant Vietnamese Christians in Chanthaburi. Its roof was removed during World War II to prevent the building from being bombed during Allied air raids.

The website of Chanthaburi Diocese is available (only in Thai) at:http://chandiocese.org/

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