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Report: Tibetan Catholics defy China government for faith

April 7, 2007

From Reuters

Deep in the southwest mountains of officially atheist China, a small congregation of Tibetan Catholics still pledges its loyalty to the Pope after years of persecution and isolation.

This community in the mountains of Yunnan province that buttress Tibet itself has remained a bastion of the faith since Swiss missionaries converted their ancestors a century ago.

Their small church was levelled in the 1960s during the heyday of the Cultural Revolution and its priests chased away. Members of the congregation also recount how they and their families endured frequent raids by their Buddhist neighbours.

But despite decades of hardship, the Catholic faith still runs strong among the few hundred villagers.

“No matter what happens, I would never abandon my religion,” said 72-year-old Catholic Ma Dilin.

“There is no conflict between us and other religions. Our religion was passed on to me by the older generation, and will be passed on to the next generation. It is never going to change. I hope the younger generation can follow Catholicism as I do.”

Full report here.

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