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Historic Chapel Opens to Tourists for Christmas

A Christian church at the Mount Lushan, a tourist destination known for its beautiful scenery and historical sites in east China's Jiangxi Province, will be open to tourists for three days in the coming Christmas holidays.

According to Wang Yingchun, deputy head of Mount Lushan scenic spot administration, more than 100 Christians will gather at the church on Christmas Eve, which falls Friday this year. And on the coming Saturday and Sunday, the church will also be open to non-Christian visitors.

Located at No. 438 Road Hexi of the Mount Lushan, the T-structured, Roman-style church was built around 1910, with an area of 200 square meters. It served as classroom for an American school between 1916 and 1922, and in 1946 it was transformed into a Christian chapel. The church received prayers by some influential personages in Chinese history in the 1940s, including Chiang Kai-shek and Soong Mei-ling and John Leighton, who was the American ambassador to China in the late 1940s.

There are now two Christian churches at Mount Lushan, cultural heritage from the late 1800s and the early 1900s, when Christian missionaries came to the region from Britain, the United States, France, Russia and Italy.

(Xinhua News Agency December 24, 2004)

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