The Spatial Study of Catholic Market in China

Zhaohui Hong

Professor of History and Director of the Center for Global Studies at Purdue University Calumet, Indiana, and the Co-Director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society, Purdue University, USA

Jianfeng Jin

Graduate Assistant, Purdue University Calumet, USA; Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, USA

Keywords: Spatial study, Catholic market, Church density, Church accessibility, Church availability.


This article is designed to use geo-spatial, digital and statistical methods to visualize and measure the demand and supply of Catholic market in China. Selecting nine representative cities covering three regions of China, the article measures the density of Catholics through discussing the number of Catholic population and number of Catholic churches in an effort to calculate the average number of Catholics using each church. In addition, this article utilizes two spatial methods to visualize and gauge the distance and driving time between the Catholic residential area and the nearest church in an effort to measure the church availability and accessibility in the selected nine cities. After proposing three measurable criteria of evaluating the shortage of church, this article identifies five specific cities as the areas in which there is a Catholic church shortage in China.


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