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African Influences on Chinese Catholicism

Christians of all kinds are returning to the Middle Kingdom. But the Christian significance of the Afro-Chinese encounter is even more important, broader than the simple number of the newly baptized. Therefore, this article highlights a dimension that is rarely mentioned: it focuses on Africans who, as workers, students, diplomats or small businessmen, live in China and engage with local Catholics, in order to explore the implications for the Church in China.

Without ignoring the presence of other foreign Catholic communities, we maintain here that African lay people working in China make an original contribution to the Catholicity of the local Church. Without possessing either a thorough religious formation, or a religious calling, or even less formal consecration, Africans allow Chinese Catholics to observe and experience some alternative forms of Catholic religious practice. On an individual and collective level, they make diversity and universality tangible, helping to express the catholicity of the Church.

Source: La Civiltà Cattolica

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