July 29, 2010.
The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Ivan Dias, and secretary of the Congregation, Archbishop Robert Sarah, have written a letter to the priests of China.
The letter expresses gratitude to the priests' “loyalty and the exemplary and admirable courage shown by Catholics in China to the Vatican” despite the persecution that many have had to suffer because of the faith.
Cardinal Dias concludes by encouraging China’s priests to distinguish themselves as men of prayer and to live an austere life, far from any ambition other than to follow Christ.
China is the world's most populous country, with more than 1,300 million people. Their practice of the faith is severely hampered and many priests and bishops have been imprisoned.