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Christianity was the second religion to arrive in China, after Buddhism, and before Islam Although the religion has had a tough history in the country, there are tens of millions of Christians and many churches for locals and international travelers to attend while on tour.
A visit to a Shanghai church is a great way to experience Christmas, New Year, Easter and Christian life in Shanghai. Below is a list of recommended Protestant inter-denominational, Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches with English services to attend around Shanghai.
This is a multi-denominational Christian church that can accommodate up to 1,400 people. Located at the former French Concession, the church has members hailing from over 60 countries around the world.
At 53 Hengshan Road in Xuhui District, near the Wulumuqi Road intersection, Shanghai Community Fellowship is only a short walk from Hengshan station on Metro Line 1.
The church holds two services at different times.
This is an interdenominational gathering, which holds services at the Hong En Church on Hongfeng Road, Jinqiao.
You could take a 990 bus from Jinqiao on Metro line 6, or bus 609 from Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park on line 2.
This Methodist church was set up by American missionaries in 1887. Following its expansion in 1931, it can now host 1000 worshipers at a go. Although it was closed following events of the Cultural Revolution, it has now managed to regather thousands of members.
It is on Xizangzhong Road near Hankou Road in Huangpu District, across from the famous People’s Square.
Use Metro Line 1, 2, or 8 and alight at People's Square Station. Take Exit 14, and the church is a short walk 60 meters northwest from there.
This Methodist church was built in 1925 and has a 17th century style of construction. It features a side hall, main hall and wooden steeple. It has beautiful and attractive features such as red brick walls, a triangular roof and concrete-engraving doorpost.
Other notable features include a rose window and a bell tower. This tower has 63 staircases. All Saints Church can hold a total of 1000 people with the attached annex included, although the church hall alone can contain only 500 people.
This is Shanghai's largest Anglican Church, located in the Huangpu District. It was famously known as "the Red Church" because of its red brick walls. The church has been renovated to restore its stature since destruction during the Cultural Revolution. It now has a stage, a second floor and sloping floor, thanks to the renovation works.
It is located near East Nanjing Road Metro station.
Holy Trinity Cathedral hosts normal Sunday services and other notable services in the Anglican calendar from morning.
This Presbyterian church was formerly known as The First Presbyterian Church of Shanghai. It is located in the Huangpu district on 30 Dachang Street, close to the Lujiabang Road.
Pure Heart Church is only 15 minutes walk from Nanpu Bridge on Metro Line 4. No passports are required to attend services.
Sunday, 7:30am and in the evening
This Roman Catholic church is located to the North of Shanghai Stadium in Xujiahui district. It is the most famous cathedral in the metropolis. It was later restored to its current status after destruction during the Cultural Revolution.
Although it previously had numerous facilities including an orphanage, a publishing house, a dedicated weather station, library and a college, only the church and part of the school remain today.
St. Ignatius Cathedral can accommodate 4,000 people at full capacity. Once the highest building in Shanghai, its architectural style and exquisite workmanship reveal the history of European architecture.
On the interior are paintings of the Last Supper, stone columns and Gothic ceilings. It also has stained glass windows.
Just north of Shanghai Stadium, 8 kilometers from People's Square, the church is open every Sunday.
Tourists can visit on Saturdays 1–4pm and Sundays 2–4pm, and will be taken around by volunteers. It takes about 30 minutes to visit all the church's sights.
Read more on St. Ignatius Cathedral.
This is a less touristy option for Catholics. Located on the East of east of the Huangpu River along 151 Hongfeng Road, off Pudong Road, the church's structure has been renovated after destruction during the Culture Revolution. It's membership comprise of a mixture of nationals and expatriates.
Take metro line 6 to Yunchan Road and take exit 1. From there it takes 40 minutes to walk to the church: two blocks along the Zhangyang East Road you will see a Mercedes dealership on the street corner; turn left on Zaozhuang Road, and you will see the church on the left.
Sacred Heart of Jesus is walking distance from the Shanghai Marriott Hotel.
This church hosts English language services every Sunday and Saturday at 8am.
Chinese mass attendants are allowed a 20 minutes confession before start of the Saturday and Sunday services. There are also other masses observed in accordance to the Catholic calendar, including Christmas day mass.
Read more on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This church was built in 1930s and attracts worshipers from different countries around the world. Built in the Byzantine style, it features five chapels and a central dome. Chapels are on the ground floor while the church hall is on the second floor.
It is a unique catholic church because it holds masses in French, German and Korean, in addition to English and Chinese languages.
St. Peter's Church is located along 270 Chongqing South Road near Fuxingzhong Road, in Huangpu District. Foreigners are not required to show a passport to attend masses.
The reopening of this church on May 2013 showed a rebirth of Orthodox churches in the country. Attendants are required to show passports at the gate. Russian tourists and residents can attend the church to remind themselves of their country's traditions and culture.
Its reopening marked the end of 51 years of closure since the Cultural Revolution.
The Russian Orthodox Church is at 55 Xinle Road at the Orthodox Mission Cathedral and follows the Julian "old-style" calendar. The building, which was renovated in 1988, also hosts a gallery/museum within. Thus, lovers of museums can include this and the Shanghai Museum during a tour around the metropolis.
Another church open to Russians while on visit to Shanghai is the Orthodox Cathedral of St Nicholas (Shèng Nígǔlāsī Jiàotáng, 圣尼古拉斯教堂) on Gaolan Road.
Regular Sunday services are held in one of the church building along the 20 Huangpu Rd, while Great Feasts are celebrated at St. Nicholas Church.
It also holds special services on weekdays, according to the denominational calendar.
Including a Shanghai church in your tour is a great way to learn and experience the history of the church in China. China Highlights will try our best to get you to the church(es) of your choice with ease and at an acceptable budget.