Former cathedral now part of China’s World Heritage island

Light of truth

A Catholic Church building is part of a Chinese island’s inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list which is being seen by local Catholics as an opportunity for more people to learn about their faith. The former Catholic cathedral of Xiamen Diocese on Gulangyu Island of eastern Fujian province was included by the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee held in Krakow, Poland, on July 8.

The decision in recognizing the Christ the King Church as one of the 51 notable sites on the island comes as the church celebrates its 100th anniversary.

“The renovation of the church has almost come to an end,” Bishop Joseph Cai Bingrui of Xiamen told “There is a tour guide service to introduce the church. It is a good chance to let more people feel the religious culture on the island,” said the bishop.

The church is located at the centre of the heritage area so “priests and laypeople in the church are very happy and excited,” said Joseph Chen, a full time worker of the church.
The Christ the King Church was built by Spanish Dominican Bishop Mamaunel Prat in 1917.

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