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Christmas Mass in Beijing

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Hundreds of Chinese Catholics flocked to Christmas Eve mass in Beijing on Tuesday at Beijing's biggest cathedral. This year's mass was held in three languages--Mandarin, English, and Italian. China and the Vatican severed ties more than 50 years ago and only around 25 million people in the world's most populous nation are Christians. Christianity spread for centuries in China before the Communists took power in 1949, closing churches and throwing out foreign missionaries. In the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, many churches were burned and relics smashed. But in recent years, Christianity has gradually flourished even when the authorities keep tight control on religion, banning all church activities held without state organizations.

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