Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lone woman brings Tibetans to Catholicism

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comA Chinese Catholic woman has pulled off a rare feat by encouraging a number of Buddhists to convert to Catholicism in the Sino-Tibetan province of the Qinghai.

Father Joseph Li Dongsheng, parish priest of Xining Church, praised the woman’s achievement in a region that has only 4,000 Catholics in a total population of one million.

“I never even thought of converting ethnic Tibetans myself as they are so deeply rooted in Buddhism. It’s almost impossible,” he said.

The five new Catholics, aged from 20 to over 50, come from three families of the same clan and were Buddhists since childhood.

When the woman married into the family two years ago, she told them about her faith and gave them the Bible and some religious books to read.

“They didn’t accept it at first,” said Father Li. “But after reading the books, they got a better idea of our faith and started to feel how great God is. Now, at Lunar New Year, they even hang the icons of Jesus and the Blessed Mother up at home.”

The five were baptized along with five other converts on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, at a ceremony attended by 700 people.

Father Li says he plans to give them ongoing care and education to help sustain their faith as “they may have to face discrimination in this Buddhist environment.”

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