Diocese of Taiyuan
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In a land area of about 12,400 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the 6 districts of Xinghualing, Yingze, Wanbailin, Jinzaoping, Xiaodian, Jinyuan and the 3 counties of Qingxu, Yangqu and Leifan.

Population

Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, 400 kilometers southwest of Beijing, had a population of 3.4 million at the end of 2004. The population of the diocese is 6,928,000. (The population of the whole country is 1,3 billion).

Language

Mandarin is used.

History

Catholicism was introduced into Taiyuan in 1633 during the Ming Dynasty. The first church in Taiyuan was built by Belgian Jesuit Father Michael Trigault in 1635, but was confiscated during the Qing Dynasty. Another church was built in 1870 by Italian Franciscans but was demolished during the Boxer Movement in 1900. The present Cathedral of Immaculate Conception was built on the first site 1905 by Italian Franciscan Bishop Agapito Augusto Fiorentini. Since then, the church survived the Sino-Japanese War (1937-45) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). In 1980s, the churches were gradually returned to Taiyuan diocese as religious activities were restored. In 2005, the diocese celebrated the centennial of the cathedral after its renovation.

According to the Brief History of Taiyuan Diocese, the Boxer Movement was widespread in Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and northeastern China. The Boxer Movement or "The Righteous and Harmonious Society Movement" was a Chinese rebellion from Nov. 1899 to Sept. 7, 1901, against foreign influence in trade, politics, religion and technology that occurred in China during the final years of the Qing Dynasty. Within months in 1900, more than 4,000 Catholics in Shanxi, including 3,000 from Taiyuan diocese, were killed.

Among the 120 Chinese Martyrs canonized in 2000, dozens martyrs from Taiyuan including Franciscan Bishops Gregorius Grassi and Francescus Fogolla, 3 priests, 7 sisters, 7 seminarians, and more than 10 laypeople who were killed in 1900, were beatified by Pope Pius XII on Nov. 24, 1947, and canonized by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 1, 2000.

Bishop Silvester Li of Taiyuan wrote in the preface of the "Brief History" at Lent 2008 that the courageous missionaries who came afar to preach the Gospel and the numerous martyrs who sacrificed their lives to defend the faith have nurtured the children of God generation after generation in this diocese with 300 years of history

 

Transportation

Railway and highway lines link up all parts of the city. Taiyuan railway station is a hub of the six trunk railway lines of Tong-Pu, Shi-Tai and Jing-Yuan, etc. It is also the largest freight station in the province. The railway Da-Yun crosses through the city. The 8 highway lines such as Tai-Mao and Shi - Tai link up all parts of the province and outside the province. The expressways such as Tai-Jiu bring about Taiyuan more convenient to communicate with other regions in the whole country. Now, it has more than 50 air routes to other airports both at home and abroad, such as to Hong Kong and large and middle cities and regions in the country.

Climate

Taiyuan has continental climate in north temperate zone, no bitterly cold days in winter and no broiling hot days in summer, with a quite temperature difference between day and night and a long frost-free period and plenty of sunshine hours in a year. There is much rain in the summer and it is dry and windy in spring. It is warm and fine in autumn. Average temperature yearly is 9.5 degrees Celsius.

Economy

In the early founding of the People' s Republic of China, Taiyuan was an industrial base. After more than 50 years, it has been built to possess a complete industrial system with various of industries as the pillars of energy, metallurgy, machinery and chemical, and other industries as textile, light industry, medicine, electronics, food, building materials, precise instruments, etc. Agriculture is also much developed, especially in the Taiyuan basin at 800 meters, which is flat, fertile and easy to irrigate. It is part of China's loess plateau. Loess is a fertile kind of soil.

Topography

Taiyuan is located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River in North China and is surrounded by hills in its west, north and east. The city covers an area of 6,998 square kilometers. The Fenhe River, a key tributary of the Yellow River, runs through the territory of Taiyuan City with a long distance of 100 kilometers. Taiyuan lies in the valley basin of both mountains of the Taihang Mountain Ranges in east and the Luliang Mountain in west.

Culture

Shanxi Bangzi (a kind of opera in Shanxi), Huagu (Flower Drum), and Yangge (popular rural folk dance), etc. Taiyuan has 16 art performance troupes, 12 mass art and cultural centers, 2 museums, 10 public libraries with total reserves of 3. 302 million books, 19 file centers with file information of 1.709 million volumes, 2 broadcasting stations, 2 television stations according to the city administration.

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