Home>News Center>China

Catholicism flourishes in Tibetan village
By Mu Qian (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-10 14:13

With compensation from the government of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the missionaries built the Cizhong Church. It was completed in 1914 and became the main church of the Yunnan parish.

The three-storey clock tower of Cizhong Church is a Gothic building, but its top floor is of Chinese pavilion style, covered with glazed tiles. On the top floor, one can enjoy a bird's eye view of Cizhong Village.

Though foreign missionaries left in the early 1950s, Catholicism had taken root in Cizhong. Today there are 233 households in the village. Of the 130 households on the west side of the Lancang River, where the church is located, 89 are Catholics.

Though both Catholics and Tibetan-Buddhists live in Cizhong, there seems not to be a distinct boundary between them, as all villagers, whether Catholics or Buddhists, celebrate religious festivals together.

"On Christmas, the Buddhists help us prepare the celebration, and they sing, dance and eat with us. The only difference is that they don't go to church to pray," said Hansen. "It's similar for us on Buddhist festivals."

On Christmas Eve, a fire was lit before the church. Villagers, no matter what religion, age, or gender, formed a circle around the fire to sing and dance.

"Our guests from afar have come a long way. On this auspicious day, we meet at the Catholic Church. It is by God's mercy that we can celebrate Christmas together"

Xianzi, a form of song and dance popular among the Tibetans living in Yunnan, was used to express a Christian theme, and such songs were sung by Catholics and Buddhists together.

The party reached a climax when Santa Claus appeared. Played by Austin, president of the church, Santa Claus brought gifts for the children.

People went on singing and dancing around the fire until midnight, when firecrackers were set off declaring time for Mass. Then the villagers swarmed into the church.

There is no regular priest in Cizhong. For this year's Christmas, the village invited Father Yang Hongchang from Dali to hold the Mass.

Page: 1234

Heading home for festival
Anti-violence exercise in Chongqing
Residents enjoy watermelons in winter in Wuhan
  Today's Top News     Top China News

China, India to hold border talks next month



Poor surveillance led to human infections



Catholicism flourishes in Tibetan village



India, China to sign agreement on cooperation



Researcher: China unlikely to sell dollars



China: human cases "likely to increase"


  Railway ticket prices to be increased during Spring Festival
  CNOOC taps into Nigerian resources
  Innovation 'holds key to progress'
  8th human case of bird flu reported
  China's Chery cars to make US debut in 2007
  'Cleaning up Songhua River is a priority'
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.