Catholicism in Tibet
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Catholicism in Tibet

Update: Jan. 11th, 2013


Catholicism in Tibet – Brief Introduction

There is only one Catholic Church in Tibet Region with a coverage area of more than 6,000 square meters, situated Yanjing village with a construction genre of Tibetan, Han nationality and western style.

Catholicism in Tibet – Origin

When Catholicism was first introduced into Tibet Region in 1865, there are 17 abbes and missionaries of Catholic Church. Nowadays, there are more than 900 people living in Yanjing Village mainly Tibetans with a few Naxi ethnic people. Almost every Tibetan is a religion believer with a total number of 740 people including more than 600 locals and other people.

Catholicism in Tibet– Festival

Tibetan New Year is considered as the beginning of a new year like locals, but also Christmas Day is celebrated warmly by believers. In Christmas Day, there is no Christmas tree or Santa Claus in the party, which mainly preached a sermon for believers. On that day, almost every pastors and masters of other churches are invited to the party. After dinner, believers will have a Tibetan traditional dance such as Guo Zhuang Dance and Xianzi Dance.

Catholicism in Tibet– History

Bon Sect, Buddhism Sect, Islamism Sect amd Catholicism Sect have own followers in Tibet region. According to the historical records, Catholicism was firstly introduced into Ngari prefecture of Tibet because of its preponderant terrain as the center area for cultural communication. Thus, the western missionaries have chose Ngari Prefecture as the first place for spreading Catholicism by priest Andrade and missionary Maques since 1624. Approved by the reign of Guge Kingdom, the first Catholic Church was constructed in 1626 but destroyed in 1630.

During the year of 1628, other western missionaries such as Cacella and Cabral entered into Shigatse Prefecture from Bhutan. They planed to build Catholic Church again but finally opposed by Buddhists. Thus the Church Organizations has been retreated in 1631.

From then on, Catholicism has been spread continually by other missionaries during the years of 1709, 1714, 1716, 1718, 1720, 1722, and 1741. And they finally found their little church in 1721 with few believers. In 1745, the missionaries of Catholicism have been expelled by Tibet local government in 1745.

Catholicism in Tibet– Catholic Church

Since 19 century, the western missionaries had to choose some other places of Sichuan Province and Tibet to spread Catholicism, even encountered the resistance of Buddhists. Fortunately, the only one Catholic Church has been preserved well without certain year of first construction.

However, there are 560 disciples of Catholicism prayed in the only one Catholic Church.

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