Source: Yahoo! News
Wire Service: AFP
On April 8, 2005 Agence France-Presse reported, "From Beijing's old official churches to underground congregations in the countryside, China's Catholics were to mark the burial of Pope John Paul II despite an official blackout on the ceremony. While there were no plans to broadcast the funeral service on state television, China's millions of Roman Catholics were to mark the burial of the pontiff in low-key fashion. 'I suspect that people will be praying for the pope during our regular mass,' said a member of an underground church in Baoding city, a hotspot of unofficial Catholicism in northern Hebei province...Since the death of the pope, the Baoding area has been tense, with officials apparently worried that the pontiff's passing could spill over into social unrest. China has not recognized the Vatican in more than 50 years and has refused to send a representative to the funeral, angered that President Chen Shui-bian of rival Taiwan would be attending."