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Established in 1723 by the Italian Vincentian missionary Teodorico Pedrini, Xitang was the first non-Jesuit church in Beijing.

After Pedrini’s death, the church was run by Carmelites, then Augustinians, until it was destroyed in 1811 during a purge of Catholics and missionaries from the city. Rebuilt in 1867, it was again destroyed on June 15, 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion. Twenty years later, it was pieced back together a third time at the original location. Shi Hongxi, Secretary General of the Beijing Catholic Patriotic Association said, “In 1958, Xitang was given up as a church and used as a button-making factory, then as an electric fan factory and later as a warehouse for Tongrentang pharmacy; during that time the three-story bell tower was torn down. Xitang officially reopened in 1994, and the bell tower was repaired in 2007.”

Global Times

For more background on Pedrini vist the Vincentian Encylopedia


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