At the recent European China Colloquium (see photo) near Cologne, there was considerable interest in the religious situation in China where the government is making determined efforts to get Buddhists, Islamist, Christians and Catholics to promote its atheistic program of social and economic progress under the leadership of the Communist Party.
At times its thinking seems not much different from some advanced Western economies which see religions, with their emphasis on people rather than economic systems, as obstacles to material prosperity and seek to soften their influence on society.
However, despite the pressure being put on religious believers in China, there was a report from a group of young Catholics in Beijing on how they are using social media to promote involvement in the Church.
They have launched an app which provides information on Catholic events and news in the Capital. All those involved are volunteers, most work in internet companies. On a daily basis, some do content, others design and others uploading.
The government is aware of their activities but permits them.
It may be that Catholics under direct pressure are more aware of their identity and what the Church has to offer. In China too, Church leaders have not always given good example, some have done the opposite, but it was good to have met the young Beijingers who could see through that and were still determined to share what they saw as the Good News.