Catholic Church in China continues to grow despite persecution

Nearly 50,000 people, possibly more, were baptized into the Catholic Church in 2017 according to Fides, the news outlet for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The report was published on February 15.

The official count is 48,566, however, it is suspected that more were baptized in rural areas and went uncounted. It is difficult to obtain data from rural Chinese communities for a variety of reasons.

The Church and China have a long, historic relationship which is difficult at present. The Chinese government is communist and atheistic and frowns upon all expressions of religion. Still, religion is tolerated, but it is persecuted to various degrees. The Church is only permitted to operate under the supervision of a government agency which oversees religious affairs.

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