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Chinese Catholics donate for the poor ahead of Easter

Jinde Charities raised thousands of dollars for charitable works in the previous campaigns
Children with special needs are seen at center in a social center in Shaanxi province of China in this file photo. Catholics in China donated ahead of Easter to support charitable works of Catholic-run Jinde Charities

Children with special needs are seen at center in a social center in Shaanxi province of China in this file photo. Catholics in China donated ahead of Easter to support charitable works of Catholic-run Jinde Charities. (Photo: Jinde Charities)

Published: April 06, 2023 08:21 AM GMT
Updated: April 06, 2023 08:24 AM GMT

Catholics in China have joined a fundraiser campaign to support charitable works for the poor and needy ahead of Easter Sunday.

The campaign, promoted by Catholic-run Jinde (Faith) Charities, started on Palm Sunday, April 2, and runs across Catholic dioceses in China, Fides news agency reported.

Beginning six years ago, the initiative to collect donations from Catholics ahead of Easter has become a major fundraiser for the charity group, which for the past 26 years has been engaged in charitable works in mainland China with local and international donations.

The campaign has been “very well received” by bishops, priests, and laity, who see it as an opportunity “to unite the whole Church, and together bear witness to faith and charity,” Fides reported.

The collection of donations came days after Catholics across China joined in special prayers in parish churches and homes for the speedy recovery of Pope Francis who has been recently hospitalized for treatment.

Jinde Charities reported that previous fund collections have been encouraging. In the first five years, about 4,697,660, 27 yuan (US$683,294) were collected from donations. The funds have been utilized to offer healthcare, psychological support, reconstruction, and rehabilitation projects in areas affected by natural disasters in China and abroad.

Funded projects also include relief initiatives supported after floods and earthquakes in various parts of China, as well as those promoted after the Hualien earthquake in Taiwan, the volcano eruption in Guatemala, and the tsunami in Indonesia in 2018.

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, donations from Catholics in China and abroad amounted to more than 30 million yuan (US$4.3 million). The fund was used to provide masks, machinery, and medical supplies in most affected areas in China and other countries.

Jinde Charities, founded in 1997, is the first non-profit civil society service organization of the Catholic Church in China. It was approved by the government in 1998.

The word “Jinde” also pays tribute to Bishop Hou Jinde of the Xingtai Diocese, who died on May 21, 1994, and was known for helping the poor.

During the donation campaign, the charity group appealed to Catholics and people of goodwill to help in carrying out charitable works.

"We will continue promoting works of charity, and walking together to build a harmonious society," because, "Jesus said: 'whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me' ".

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