1951 was the year that China broke off all ties with the Holy Vatican and thus Catholics started hiding. This was during the pro Buddhist leader Mao Zedong. It took 30 years for the Catholics to move freely in the 1980s.
There are roughly 10 million Catholics in China, and 100 Catholic Bishops in China that might prosper with the agreement that will be signed in a few months between the Vatican and China.
In the new agreement, The Vatican will have the chance of appointing new future Bishops in China and China having control over the underground churches. China is looking at the long term benefits of being a rising superpower engaging with one of the world’s major religions.
The Constitution of Peoples Republic of China has an important caveat related to the Freedom of religion in China. The practice of religion has been claimed to be open and supported by the governments of China throughout ages. This however seems to be a falsified act where human rghts groups such as United States Commision on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has criticized China not being supportive according to international standards.
With new Regulations for Religious Affairs that came into force on 1st February, there is outcry from religious leaders from the Christian faith. The new regulations has given the Religious affairs departments of local governments the power to decide the fate of the registration application of new places for religious activities. This is a sign of religions being in the control of the government instead of worldwide religious bodies such as the Vatican.