Beijing: All Places of Worship Reopened on January 1, 2023

January 04, 2023
St. Joseph's Church in Beijing

The cessation of the Chinese government's “zero Covid” policy with the complete resumption of social life has had at least this beneficial effect: all the churches and places of prayer which had been almost closed for three years for some, were able to reopen at beginning of 2023.

Fides was recently informed that all churches and places of prayer in Beijing would open on January 1, 2023. The faithful in Beijing are immensely grateful to the Lord for this decision.

The Christian faithful, deeply affected by the latest wave of the pandemic that is sweeping the country, also feel strengthened in their faith thanks to this news made public on December 29 by the Archdiocese of Beijing.

“All churches and places of prayer in Beijing will be reopened in an orderly manner beginning January 1, 2023. Priority must be given to Mass and the sacraments,” the archdiocese informs.

What follows, on the other hand, is somewhat curious; indeed, the statement also includes practical guidance, such as increasing the number of Masses and reducing their duration in order to allow more believers to participate by making reservations.

Shortening His worship is a very strange way to thank God. As for reservations, what is their purpose? A well-designed security service could perhaps avoid this step, while maintaining places reserved for the elderly and infirm.

Finally, given the scale of the epidemic in China, “Msgr. Joseph Li Shan – Archbishop of Beijing – is dispensing the elderly, the seriously ill, and those infected with Covid from Sunday Mass.”

It is reasonable to imagine that the reopening of places of worship will take place quickly throughout China. From now on, the “health crisis” will no longer be a pretext to arbitrarily close churches for months or even years.