Catherine Chen was sitting in a pew at St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Flushing, Queens, practicing. It was mid-April and she had just completed a run-through of what to do when the priest pours the Holy Water on her head later in the month. Fifty or so other Chinese catechumens — people who are joining the Catholic faith — accompanied by their sponsors, sat in the pews around her, listening to the instructions delivered from the altar.
This was their only rehearsal for the Easter Vigil.
“I think I might screw up,” she said in a low whisper. “I just hope I do well.”
Across the country each year, more than 30,000 people officially join the Catholic Church on Easter Eve — a tradition that dates back to the early days of the church — by participating in the sacraments of initiation: baptism, holy communion and confirmation.
Of the 500 or so converting in New York last weekend, about a third were Chinese immigrants, some of whom are seeking asylum based on religious persecution in China. Most of the Chinese immigrants live in Brooklyn and Queens, and they are having a transformative effect on local Catholic churches.
State control over religion remains strong in China, which has been known to monitor churches threateningly, if not raze some of them entirely, while harassing and sometimes imprisoning pastors and priests. Christians in particular faced severe persecution in 2018, the worst registered in 40 years, according to an annual report by ChinaAid, a Christian nonprofit.
That said, religion is on the rise in China. Tens of millions now identify as Christians. Protestantism has swelled to what some believe to be as many as 115 million adherents, while Catholics represent a smaller group, with approximately 10 million.
These numbers have trickled down to immigrant communities in New York.
“As more and more Chinese immigrants come to America, we see our parish get bigger each year,” said Sister Monica Gan, who runs the initiations at St. John Vianney. The process, developed by the Catholic church, teaches the tenets of Christianity and Catholicism to those who want to convert, like Ms. Chen.
In the early 1990s in Brooklyn, Father Norman Bennett, then a priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in Sunset Park, recognized an opportunity to connect with Chinese immigrants who were steadily moving into the neighborhood. At the time, the majority of immigrants were Cantonese speakers, so Father Bennett started studying the language. It was the Sunday after Christmas, in 1995, when Father Bennett delivered Brooklyn’s first Mass in Chinese. About 25 people showed up.
“I was very nervous and overwhelmed,” Father Bennett recalled. “My pronunciation wasn’t that good, and I was barely able to get through it all.”
Now, more than two decades later, at least four churches in Brooklyn offer Mandarin and/or Cantonese services. Three of those offer Christian initiation programs in Mandarin. Our Lady of Perpetual Help has seen the greatest increase in those converting to Catholicism, with a nearly 160 percent jump in five years, according to records from the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Local churches are simply adjusting to changing demographics, said Father Thomas Gaunt, executive director of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, an independent research group that studies the Catholic Church. “In neighborhoods like Brooklyn, people leave, but churches don’t,” he said. “Parishes there are trying to respond to the needs of the community.”
Churches in Queens are adapting in a similar way. After years without a religious home, Chinese Catholics in the Flushing area settled at St. John Vianney in 2006. Now, daily Masses are celebrated there in Mandarin, with a Sunday morning Mass that is celebrated in both Mandarin and Cantonese. Five Christian initiation classes, taught in Mandarin, take place every week.
Ms. Chen made the decision to convert this past fall, after a friend persuaded her to attend Mass. Born in Fujian Province and now a permanent resident, Ms. Chen moved to Flushing 10 years ago, when she was 14. She wasn’t raised in a religious household, and she didn’t know what to expect.
Together, they went to St John Vianney. “I never felt like that before,” Ms. Chen said. “I just started to believe that God really does exist.”
Many of Ms. Chen’s classmates, however, particularly those who are recent arrivals from China, did not have such an open and accepting experience practicing Catholicism before starting the Christian initiation program in Queens. They described repressed lives in China, often spent in the shadows and attending underground churches, keeping their faith a secret to all but a select few.
Catherine Zhang came to the United States about a year ago from the Henan Province with her husband, Simon, to seek asylum, claiming religious persecution. Ms. Zhang, who spoke through a translator, said that she had been arrested in 2017 and held in police detention for participating in an “illegal religious activity,” what she described as a prayer and Bible study group.
Last weekend, the Zhangs performed the sacraments of initiation.
“Spiritually speaking, I am free,” Ms. Zhang said. “I am obtaining spiritual growth, and it is definitely worth it.”
Last summer, an immigrant named Daniel, who asked that his last name not be used for legal reasons and also spoke through a translator, started to take Christian initiation classes at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, when he wasn’t working as a dishwasher in a restaurant.
He came to the country illegally, saying his “religious situation” in China threatened his mental health and strained his economic livelihood.
But stories like Daniel’s and Ms. Zhang’s led to a sweeping investigation by federal authorities that, in 2012, resulted in charges against at least 30 people of running an asylum mill in Flushing and in Chinatown. The mill coached clients to make up stories about religious persecution, among other fabricated claims, in order to win asylum. The cases of 13,500 immigrants, many of whom are Chinese, are currently under review, with threat of deportation.
“There is no evidence that recent Chinese Catholics in our diocese are not true believers and are just turning to us to help support their asylum applications,” said Adriana Rodriguez, of the Diocese of Brooklyn. “The Catholic Church has an extensive period of initiation and commitment,” she continued, arguing that those interested in immigration status only could opt for a “Christian church with a shorter period of conversion.”
Daniel, who is currently seeking asylum, seems to have had no problem with the lengthy process, along with its rituals. Though he was raised Catholic, he was never baptized. His baptism on Saturday marked more than just his official entry to the church; it symbolized a new chapter.
“I wanted to start a new life here,” he said, “and by being baptized, I will be reborn.”
Jia Guo contributed reporting.B:
【山】【中】【寒】【风】【呼】【啸】。 【树】【杈】【上】【还】【挂】【着】【厚】【厚】【的】【积】【雪】，【一】【片】【清】【冷】。 “【这】【真】【是】【我】【做】【的】？”【陈】【守】【义】【看】【着】【连】【绵】【的】【山】【峰】，【心】【潮】【澎】【湃】，【有】【些】【不】【敢】【置】【信】。 【一】【步】【千】【里】，【天】【涯】【咫】【尺】，【甚】【至】【还】【跨】【越】【了】【两】【个】【世】【界】。 “【简】【直】【是】【太】【不】【可】【思】【议】【了】！” 【可】【惜】，【一】【切】【关】【于】【四】【维】【的】【信】【息】，【随】【着】【洞】【察】【关】【闭】，【迅】【速】【的】【消】【退】。 【他】【已】【只】【记】【得】【大】【概】【的】【经】【过】
“【谁】【敢】【阻】【我】！” 【一】【切】【皆】【是】【发】【生】【在】【瞬】【息】【之】【间】。 【骤】【然】【面】【对】【这】【突】【如】【其】【来】【的】【变】【化】，【不】【光】【周】【边】【海】【域】【围】【观】【的】【万】【千】【修】【士】【没】【有】【反】【应】【过】【来】，【就】【连】【自】【恃】【修】【为】【强】【大】【的】【厉】【幽】【冥】【也】【没】【有】【反】【应】【过】【来】。 【而】【当】【他】【回】【过】【神】【来】【时】，【发】【现】【自】【己】【已】【是】【被】【一】【尊】【古】【老】【的】【黑】【色】【烘】【炉】【笼】【罩】…… 【见】【状】，【厉】【幽】【冥】【大】【怒】！ 【喉】【咙】【中】【发】【出】【震】【天】【的】【爆】【吼】。 【轰】~
【谁】【知】，【对】【方】【不】【仅】【没】【有】【辜】【负】【他】【的】【培】【养】【和】【期】【望】，【甚】【至】【表】【现】【的】【远】【远】【超】【出】【他】【的】【预】【想】，【成】【了】【朱】【雀】【如】【今】【的】【顶】【梁】【柱】【之】【一】。 【不】【仅】【如】【此】，【随】【着】【她】【的】【成】【长】，【他】【所】【担】【心】【的】【那】【些】【恃】【宠】【而】【骄】、【中】【饱】【私】【囊】、【仗】【势】【欺】【人】、【以】【权】【谋】【私】【等】【事】，【都】【没】【有】【在】【她】【的】【身】【上】【出】【现】【过】。 【她】【什】【么】【事】【情】【都】【不】【会】【对】【他】【有】【所】【隐】【瞒】，【就】【连】【私】【下】【里】【自】【己】【培】【养】【出】【的】【那】【些】【心】【腹】，【都】【将】【名】2017期开奖结果26期“【当】【年】【唐】【太】【宗】【在】【位】【的】【时】【候】，【为】【了】【高】【宗】【能】【坐】【稳】【天】【下】【苛】【待】【最】【初】【和】【太】【宗】【皇】【帝】【一】【起】【打】【江】【山】【的】【功】【臣】，【就】【是】【为】【了】【让】【高】【宗】【立】【威】【而】【后】【能】【让】【高】【宗】【有】【人】【可】【用】！【我】【倒】【是】【觉】【得】【这】【州】【泉】【郡】【定】【然】【是】【圣】【上】【为】【了】【给】【后】【来】【登】【上】【大】【宝】【的】【皇】【子】【铺】【路】！” 【如】【今】【的】【圣】【上】【虽】【然】【不】【算】【是】【个】【千】【古】【明】【君】，【但】【在】【位】【期】【间】【也】【没】【有】【犯】【过】【什】【么】【大】【错】！【是】【一】【个】【很】【好】【的】【守】【成】【君】【王】！【所】【以】【圣】【上】
【大】【源】，【即】【为】【天】【地】【的】【根】【本】，【出】【入】【大】【源】，【这】【是】【比】【感】【悟】【山】【川】【地】【理】【更】【接】【近】【天】【人】【合】【一】。 【不】，【那】【已】【经】【不】【是】【天】【人】【合】【一】【了】，【而】【是】【最】【高】【级】【别】【的】【与】【天】【道】【融】【合】。 【当】【然】，【想】【要】【做】【到】【这】【一】【步】【很】【难】，【普】【通】【人】【需】【要】【先】【观】【悟】【山】【川】【河】【流】，【随】【后】【领】【悟】【其】【中】【的】【规】【则】，【步】【步】【提】【升】，【最】【后】【才】【能】【到】【达】【与】【天】【地】【融】【合】【的】【状】【态】。 【而】【陆】【辰】，【则】【是】【一】【上】【来】【就】【是】【最】【高】【级】。
【赤】【瞳】【见】【对】【方】【逃】【进】【水】【下】，【连】【忙】【化】【作】【人】【形】。【他】【不】【识】【水】【性】，【索】【性】【外】【化】【自】【然】【力】【火】【元】【素】【作】【为】【隔】【水】【罩】，【但】【是】【这】【样】【直】【接】【的】【使】【用】【不】【仅】【十】【分】【消】【耗】【自】【然】【力】【而】【且】【也】【十】【分】【脆】【弱】。 【但】【他】【没】【有】【其】【他】【选】【择】。 【希】【望】【花】【荆】【和】【花】【朗】【及】【时】【赶】【到】，【他】【下】【水】【的】【时】【候】【这】【样】【想】【着】。 【另】【一】【边】【由】【于】【伊】【凌】【本】【身】【具】【有】【水】【元】【素】【天】【赋】，【她】【识】【海】【中】【的】【陌】【生】【男】【人】【也】【习】【惯】【于】【使】【用】【水】【元】
【此】【时】【此】【刻】【的】【冥】【九】【黎】，【脑】【海】【中】【只】【有】【一】【个】【想】【法】，【杀】！ 【自】【己】【这】【般】【让】【凤】【青】【璇】【不】【那】【么】【特】【殊】，【让】【她】【得】【到】【将】【士】【们】【的】【信】【任】，【告】【诉】【长】【老】【会】【凰】【九】【倾】【的】【女】【儿】【被】【她】【放】【了】【出】【去】，【就】【是】【为】【了】【不】【让】【她】【最】【终】【沦】【为】【冥】【界】【与】【外】【面】【五】【界】【的】【炮】【灰】。 【可】【是】，【他】【当】【着】【自】【己】【的】【面】【伤】【害】【怀】【中】【的】【女】【人】【也】【就】【算】【了】，【而】【且】【还】【想】【将】【她】【身】【上】【的】【特】【殊】【无】【限】【放】【大】，【痴】【人】【说】【梦】。 【冥】【九】
2017双 色 球 26期 开 奖 2019-05-11 09:13:39
2017年 第 26期 开 什 么 码 2019-04-13 18:57:12
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