Catholic pilgrimage in Donglü blocked by Chinese police again

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chinese police
Image: Setois3.

As every May in past seventeen years, Donglü is surrounded by blue police tents again. The authorities used roadblocks to isolate this Chinese village from the rest of the world, in order to prevent Catholic pilgrims from attending the yearly Virgin Mary parade. The village itself is monitored by security officials. Red banners urge the citizens to maintain order.

Donglü lies only 100 miles from Beijing. According to local parishioners, a Virgin Mary apparition took place here in 1900. At that time, Chinese Christians were one of the targets of the Boxer Uprising violence, so the miracle was an important spiritual boost for locals.

In 1995, more than 30 thousand pilgrims reportedly witnessed an apparition of Mary prompting the Chinese government to use thousands of troops to isolate the village for the whole May. Since then, this has became a regular image of Donglü in May.