Source: showchina [11:37 July 15 2009]

Catholicism began to enter into China in the seventh century, but did not get popular until after the First Opium War (1840-42). Currently, Chinese Catholics have 100 dioceses with close to 5 million followers. There are 5,000 churches open to the public throughout the country, together with 12 seminaries. Every year, about 50,000 people are baptized in Catholic churches. Since 1981, Chinese Catholic Church has trained and consecrated more than 1,500 priests. Of them, over 100 have been sent to seminaries in the United States, France, Britain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and other countries, some of them obtaining a Master's or Doctor's degree before returning to China.

The Chinese Catholic Church has its own publishing organs, which have printed more than 3 million copies of The Bible and other kinds of religious works. Influential Catholic churches in the country are St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral (Xuanwumen Church) in Beijing, the Church of St. Michael in Qingdao of Shandong Province, the Church of St. Joseph (Xikai Cathedral) in Tianjin, Hongjialou Church in Jinan of Shandong Province, and Sheshan Church in Shanghai.