Christmas in Shanghai

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/25 19:03:39

The city offers an abundance of Christian holiday services


The true meaning of Christmas is best represented at buildings used for Christian religious worship services, such as churches, where there are Christmas Eve gatherings, choir performances and Christmas Day Masses. Christianity remained the largest religion in the world in 2015 with around 2 billion believers, representing around one-third of the world's 7 billion population, according to a new Pew Research Center demographic analysis.

Believers welcome an effigy of baby Jesus during a Christmas Eve Mass in Shanghai. Photos: Yang Hui/GT



O come, all ye faithful

In China, Christianity is still a minority religion, but it has come a long way since first being introduced by missionaries in the 7th century. Over the past 200 years, it has gained significant influence.

Despite being outlawed from between 1966 and 1976, the China Christian Council was restored in 1980 and churches were once again allowed to open their doors to the Chinese public. With China's economic and cultural reforms over the past few decades, nearly 53,000 churches across the country are now operating unobstructed.

Shanghai is home to over 100 Christian churches - including Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox denominations - where local churchgoers have a wide selection of Christmas services from which to attend.

While a majority of Chinese laymen are only aware of the secular or commercial aspects of Christmas - shopping and Santa - those who follow the faith and attend Christian services know that Christmas is in fact the birthday of Jesus Christ, a Jewish preacher believed to be the incarnation of the Son of God and the central figure of Christianity.

The Global Times peeked inside the Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Biyun community of Pudong New Area on Christmas Eve to witness the clergy in action leading its faithful in a jubilant celebration and vigil in honor of the nativity of the Son of God.

Global Times

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Priests and believers at the Christmas Eve gathering held at Hong En Tang (Abundant Grace) in Pudong New Area



 

Posted in: CITY PANORAMA

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