Three Chinese Catholics give their eyewitness accounts.
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In an apparent concession to protesters, government officials agreed to provide a piece of land for the church to be rebuilt, as well as money.
According to reports, the Catholics are attempting to prevent the Chinese government from tearing down the church.
Analysts interpret the apparent turnabout by the Shanghai bishop, who has been jailed since 2012 for distancing himself from the state-controlled Patriotic Association, as a pressure tactic by China’s Communist regime.
The Pope’s decision likely was made in order to avoid complicating the Vatican’s relations with the People’s Republic of China.